Radu Paladi

Radu Paladi remembered in film

Florian’s first solo CD, Following the River: Music along the Danube (Acousence records ©2017, ACO-CD 13317), includes a piece called Rondo a capriccio by Radu Paladi. Paladi (1927-2013) was a Romanian pianist, composer and conductor who also had a long career teaching at the Universitatea Națională de Artă Teatrală și Cinematografică ‘Ion Luca Caragiale’  (national university of film and theatrical art) in Bucharest. Florian writes,

Radu Paladi trained as a pianist under Florica Musicescu, who was also the teacher of Dinu Lipatti and Radu Lupu, among many others. This solid technical grounding made him an excellent composer for the piano. He went on to become a prolific composer, particularly distinguished for choral, chamber and film music. His style has been described as resistant to avant-garde language: instead he aimed at a more direct, simple and pure musical language. This is precisely how his sparkly Rondo a capriccio flows: beguilingly pure and unfussy. Here Paladi’s virtuosic writing for the piano is an interesting blend of Mendelssohn and Debussy, with added hints of Bartók and Prokofiev. Most importantly, the integration of Romanian folk material, typical of his entire output, feels refreshingly natural here. The music is very descriptive, and unfolds in an almost cinematic way.

Florian had the privilege of knowing Radu Paladi and as a tribute to him wanted not only to record one of his piano pieces, but also to honour his work in film and his fascination with the folk tradition. This short film blends shots of Florian at home in his practice room with images from rural Romania which capture the mood of the piece and its sense of a place vividly remembered. The film is not itself great art, but is made by way of thanks to a man whose music is little known outside Romania, but deserves wider recognition and more recordings. To see the film at its best, you can watch it on Vimeo by following the link button below, but you can also see it in one of Florian’s Facebook posts, where you can let Florian know what you think and share it with others who might enjoy it. Do you like it? Would you like to see more? Let Florian know and he will get working! The short film is also available on Florian’s YouTube channel and via the video page of this site.