(2020) DUENDE, TEO GHEORGHIU
One hot summer day, I headed due south from London and crossed France and Spain on my road bike. Challenging it was, yet beautiful, emotional and colourful all at once - while pedalling thousands of kilometres, the journey brought me closer to my innermost core.
Upon my return home, I wished to express all the intense feelings and sensations I experienced on the road in my own way - the language of music.
The metamorphosis was already underway when I became aware of the duende and after digging a bit deeper, I immediately sensed that it was this feeling which touched me on my journey, giving me strength and letting me connect with people and their land more profoundly.
“el duende is a force not a labour, a struggle not a thought - El duende is not in the throat: el duende surges up, inside, from the soles of the feet.”
“duende loves the edge, the wound, and draws close to places where forms fuse in a yearning beyond visible expression.”
“Those dark sounds are the mystery, the roots that cling to the mire that we all know, that we all ignore, but from which comes the very substance of art.”
Federico García Lorca
There is a duality at play between the repetition of recording and the spontaneity and unpredictability of duende - and to summon duende, the process had to be as free and fluid as possible: all sessions built up to a final complete ‘recital’-take to capture the spirit of live creation.
This was masterfully recorded by Jean-Martial Golaz - a magician of sound who effortlessly played the timeless acoustics of La Salle de Musique, La Chaux-de-Fonds to create a soundscape from another time.
We intuitively found the golden balance to bring out the whispers of burning wind to the cries of flamenco from the old Steinway dating back to 1966 - the very same piano on which the great chilean pianist Claudio Arrau recorded Debussy’s Images in 1979.
The soul of the piano was both conjured up and tamed by Corinne Wieland - a consummate piano technician.
My gratitude goes out to both of them - this team gave me the wings to take off and be free.
“El duende….Where is the duende? Through the empty archway a wind of the spirit enters, blowing insistently over the heads of the dead, in search of new landscapes and unknown accents: a wind with the odour of a child’s saliva, crushed grass, and medusa’s veil, announcing the endless baptism of freshly created things.”
Federico García Lorca
Born near Zurich, Switzerland in 1992, Swiss-Canadian pianist Teo Gheorghiu made his concert debut in his hometown at the Tonhalle in 2004. Since then, he has performed throughout the world including in Paris, Tokyo, St Petersburg, Madrid, New York and at all of London’s major venues.
He has worked with leading orchestras including the Tonhalle Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Musikkollegium Winterthur and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. During his career so far he has enjoyed collaborations with esteemed conductors such as Sir Neville Marriner, John Nelson, Vasily Petrenko, Roberto Gonzalez-Monjas, Andrei Feher, Matthias Pintscher and Alexander Shelley.
Teo has won 1st prize in the San Marino and Franz Liszt International Piano Competitions. In 2010 he became the youngest recipient of the coveted Beethovenring at the Beethovenfest Bonn and was awarded the ‘Best Canadian Artist’ at the 2017 edition of Concours Musicale International de Montreal.
Teo has studied and spent most of his life in London and it is there that he spent 5 years refining his voice under the guidance of his inspirational teacher and mentor, the late Hamish Milne. Since then he has made his own way in exploring varied repertoires and new ways to reflect life into music.
As well as being an avid cyclist, Teo’s other passions lie in playing football, travelling, and making new discoveries in the world of folk music.