Bucharest Tango

The energy of the experience gathered from the Romenca project and from the meeting with Moldavian cimbalom player Valeriu Cașcaval led to a new music adventure. In 2007, under the label Asphalt Tango, Oana Cătălina Chițu recorded Bucharest Tango, together with the members of Romenca who were joined by Valeriu Cașcaval (cimbalom) and Anton Slavici (violin).

 

The songs heard by Oana when she was a child from her father, the music of Interwar Bucharest, neglected and partially forgotten, was repolished by this new formula of eight musicians. A biographic detail made it possible for this album to gather what perhaps might be the most valuable songs of the 30’s. When visiting some relatives in Bucharest, Oana found old gramophone records, 78 recordings of old tangos.

 

Enthralled with this old music, she started to learn it. It is an album in which Oana’s strong, velvety tone refashions a culturally refined epoch with nostalgia and melancholy. That pre-war Europe, full of political and social tension, found ways to be free, even in its periphery. Interwar Bucharest had a spiritual universe which also created a music for the broken-hearted, a music both heart-rending and soothing, which can be listened to in the Bucharest Tango album. 

The tours that accompanied the launching of the album took the three musicians on various stages, from Singapore to Switzerland, where they worked their magic on the audience and spun their tales of old Bucharest.

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© 2019 by Oana Catalina Chitu