On October 20, in Timisoara, a unique live performance, a profound duet, and a new friendship journey took place. This sparkling trumpet and harp arrangement celebrates Petre Ionutescu and Laszlo Orsolya‘s first-ever duet and took place at The Roman Catholic Church in Elisabetin. In their interpretation of Romanian tradition, they changed up the harmonies, the timing, and the feeling, raising the bar for everybody, including themselves. But I suspect both of them are already looking for ways to top what they did there.

Petre Ionutescu and Laszlo Orsolya are two known figures in the Romanian music field. The music they performed in the church at the ‘Explorari Contemporane ale Traditiei’ event had the veneer of simplicity but was in fact full of nuance and depth. The trumpet-harp combination is truly special thanks to its very particular tonal beauty, which is evocative for many listeners. Throughout the performance, Petre played other instruments too, including the alpenhorn, keyboards, and flute.

There was so much to love about this concert. The affinity between the two artists is plain to hear, but Orsolya and Petre brought a strong intuitive sense of each other’s music to the table, ideally using that to accentuate the great warmth in their live performance.

All those who joined the event got a somewhat modern, contemporary melodic sensibility of traditional Romanian music in the slow air, but all of this floated on a subtle and majestically done vocal arrangement by Orsolya. She didn’t join the vocals until the very end, but when she finally did, the sounds came into crisp focus. The lighting, and finally, the location, added a sense of solemnity, providing the lush soundscape everyone had been dreaming of.

Unquestionably, both artists, as well as the organizers have shared a beautiful vision of what trumpet and harp can be together. The marriage of these two instruments is a celestial one and in the hands of these musicians, it’s a life union resulting in the most sensitive and subtle interpretations of tunes old and new.

With more than 300 people joining the ACT Negura event, this has been a delicious collection of traditional, inspiring songs that revealed its riches tune by tune, layer by layer; and most certainly a concert that will resonate long into the night and across many seasons.

‘Explorari Contemporane ale Traditiei’ is a cultural project financed by the Timiș County Council, through the TimCultura 2023 program.

Organizer: ACT Negura

Media partners: Cultartes, Revista Golan, The Interwission, Underground Music, Contemporary-Establishment, De Banat, Positive Romania.

Photos by Simona Neumann

Cover photo by Mau TM