The Byzantium Connection

Michael Cretu

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Format: CD

Cat No: PFCD114

Release Date:  13 December 2019

Label:  Prima Facie

Packaging Type:  Jewel Case

No of Units:  1

Barcode:  0712396065630

Genres:  Classical  Solo Instrumental  

  • Description

    Prima Facie continues their interest in the solo double bass with this latest release - Michael Cretu: The Byzantium Connection.

    Michael Cretu is an internationally recognised musician and composer whose family has a long musical tradition dating back to the 17th Century. Born in Bucharest, Romania Michael has been playing the double bass since he was 12. The Byzantium Connection tells his story and that of his family:

    In the mid-18th century, during the Ottoman occupation of the Romanian principalities, Walachia, Moldova and Transylvania, musicians from Michael's family belonged to the monastery of Bistrita and its land. Around that time, Ipsilante, the new King of Moldova and Walachia, appointed by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, bought the lands of the monastery and relocated the Cretu family to the village Odaia Vizirului, by the Danube river. King Ipsilante and his niece (who had married the count of Rome) also had an important residence nearby. There is strong evidence that the Cretu family became musicians and entertainers in residence to the King and his family. In 1848, Petrea Cretu, a member of the family band, who became very famous in the region, moved and became a violinist and singer in Braila. In 1884 he was one of the first folk musicians to talk and play at the Bucharest Philharmonic.

    Michael's uncle, Johnny Raducanu (Raducan Cretu) - the brother of Michael's father, pianist Dumitru Cretu, is considered the father of Romanian jazz. and the annual jazz festival and competition is held in his name annually in the city of Braila. In his composition for solo Double Bass, Michael is strongly influenced by Romanian folk music and its connection with the Byzantine world. Michael believes that somehow, miraculously, Romanian folk music brought together the two diverse cultures of the east and west of the Roman Empire; on the one hand the Romanian language, (a 'gift' from the Romans) and its strong connection with the folk song, and on the other the vast influences from the Byzantine empire, through the Orthodox Church and Ottoman empire.


    "There is much here to enjoy, whether you like classical, jazz, improvisation, contemporary, or just enjoy hearing really good music. A great CD with much to offer" - David Heyes

  • Tracklisting

      Disc 1

      Side 1

      • 1. Rambi Rambi
      • 2. Dance And Improvisation
      • 3. Ah Ya Zain
      • 4. Sonata For Double Bass I. Allegro
      • 5. Sonata For Double Bass - II. Adagio Cantabile
      • 6. Sonata For Double Bass - III. Andante con passione
      • 7. Sonata For Double Bass - IV. Allegretto
      • 8. Homeland For Violin And Double Bass I. Largo
      • 9. Homeland For Violin And Double Bass II. Allegretto
      • 10. Homeland For Violin And Double Bass III. Largo (Tempo primo)
      • 11. Homeland For Violin And Double Bass IV. Andante pesante
      • 12. Electronic Ah Ya Zain
      • 13. Electro Rambi Rambi