Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mihaela Ursuleasa - in memoriam : Chopin, Ries, Nowakowski

Mihaela Ursuleasa died on the second of August, aged just 33, from a cerebral hæmorrhage. And we lost a wonderful musician and a vivid human presence. 
I don't say these things lightly. There are a lot of good young pianists around, but I believe Ursuleasa was more than that. I first got to know her playing in the recordings of the concertos she played when she won the Clara Haskil prize in 1995. There is a combination of mercurial playfulness and searing intensity to her playing that immediately grabbed my attention. It's probably no coincidence that she was a regular partner of that other Romanian maverick Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Indeed, Kopatchinskaja wrote a moving obituary to her friend on Norman Lebrecht's blog. 
There is all too little by way of recorded legacy. Two solo disks, the first of which won the Echo Klassik award. The photo on the left was taken at the awards. What you don't see is that she is waving her award aloft and that her right nipple has just popped out of her evening gown. The photo circulated widely at the time, and seemed to me to embody the puckish sense of fun that you find in her playing. 
These recordings are from the 2010 Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, and the programme is one of chamber music rarities. 

of all things under our blonder than blondest star. the most mysterious
(eliena,my dear) is this. —how anyone so gay possibly could die 
e e cummings

She leaves a seven-year-old daughter.

Rainer Honeck - Violin
Christian Frohn - Viola
Arto Noras - Cello
Jurek Dybal - Bass

Mihaela Ursuleasa - Piano

Botesini : Allegretto Capriccio à la Chopin
Chopin : Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 8
Josef Nowakowski: Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 17

Nowakowski : Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major, Op. 17

Ries : Piano Quintet in B Minor, Op. 74

mp3 at 320kbs, tracked and tagged

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1 comment:

  1. It was such a loss when Ms. Miheala Ursuleasa passed away. But he will always be remembered by the people. One way of remembering him would be to make him a memorial page on obituaries