Like all our albums, CANTEMIR MELO has its own story which has began fourteen years ago, at the same time with our artistical activities. In that period we descovered the Prince Cantemir's music and this became a goal for us- to release a romanian musical vision regarding his work. The first step towards this goal was the recording one of his peșrevs in 2005, that can be found on our first album KALOFONIKA.
Researching and finding more informations about him and his musical place in the history of south-eastern Europe and MicrAsia was a long jurney for us, but the result was much more than we could have imagined to be. We learned about this polimath prince and followed his activities from Moldavia to Russian Empire.
At the end of this initiatic journey, we decided to pay a tribute to his important cultural work resulting a double CD - CANTEMIR MELO, which contains recordings of all his compositions known for certain were composed by him. Until now, the researchers like Walter Zev Feldman, Owen Wright or Eugenia Popescu-Judetz have certainly stated that the 18 muzical creations from Kitab-ı İlmi’l-musiki ala Vechi’lHurafat (The Book of the Science of Music through Letters) are written by prince Cantemir.
For many years, ANTON PANN ENSEMBLE has recieved invitations to visit an important number of cities from Romania, unfortunately until 2015 wasn't posible to organize a real tour. But, in this year, with the support of Yunus Emre -Turkish Cultural Enstitute from Ankara (and their office from Bucharest), Romanian Culture Enstitute, Romanian National Broadcasting, Anton Pann Association for Culture and Tradition and many other partners, we've succeeded to organize our first national tour that had a musical story-show focused only on the real culture in oposition to the fake-one, the correct attitude an audience must have.
Inspired from Hieroglyphic History by Dimitrie Cantemir, our show transposes the public into another world, travelling from the past into the future through the present, in the same time warning the public about the danger that ignorance and cultural promiscuity leads to.
This album has a special story: After our project from Zagreb, we didn't find financial support to produce something new in Romania. During this time, Constantin Răileanu (founder of Anton Pann Ensemble) has been teaching byzantine music at Saint Antim Monastery (in the center of Bucharest, near the hill of the Patriarchy). One day, one of his students (a woman), came to him and asks why his Ensemble didn't release any new album for several years? After talking to Constantin, she managed to find the material support for this album.
But the special part is coming now: when the team had worked on the booklet covers, they picked a tinny blue drop from a big painting made by this student (she is a painter) and expanded at the required dimension. When the team looked at the result, they have seen, between shadows and shades, the images of Hagia Sophia and the oldest church of Bucharest: Bucur's Church. Then, they have emphasized the lines, resulting the final image which can be found on the cover.
This is the explanation why on the first cover we can find Hagia Sophia and the old Bucharest houses around Bucur's Church appear on the last one. Not only from the musical view but also visualy, at the end the product has became a bridge between Romanian Principalities and Istanbul.
In the same time, this album is our first one where the musicians used only oriental musical instruments (except the violin which is used in Orient same as in Occident).
In June 2011, a romanian living in Zagreb, sugested to make a fusion project with a Jazz band from Croatia. Of course, We accepted. It was something new, making us courious about the mixture beetween the old music and electro jazz. This project has been funded by the Romanian Culture Enstitute. For two weeks we've worked in Zagreb with Capisconne Electro Unity and recorded our first mix-extra-border pass album.
Capisconne Electro Unity is a professional and innovative band with talented and skillful musicians from Zagreb. It was a pleasure for us to work together and, at the end of this period, during a concert, we released an album which described the reality of our both countries after the comunism era, EMERGING LANSCAPES.
On this project have participated four members of ANTON PANN ENSEMBLE: Constantin Răileanu, Alexandru Stoica, Andrei Zamfir și Jovan Sofronievski.
For a long period, after we released Carols album in 2006, we didn't organize another concert for Christmas celebration. So, in December 2010, we came back in front of the public with a new concert version of this important moment of the year.
This concert it is a live performance held in the big studio hall -MIhail Jora - of the Romanian National Broadcasting from Bucharest. It contains only old romanian Carols from the XIXth century, most of them unknown until that moment.
We preserved unchanged the original melody from the manuscripts and we have dressed it up with some new simphonical composition techniques, aiming to have a better understanding by the contemporary audience of Romania and abroad. This concert was broadcasted live on the same time in 24 countryes by EBU Network.
In 2008, after we ceased our collaboration with ROTON record label, we have recieved financial support from one of our fans for buying all the oriental instruments needed for a good and professional interpretation.
In the summer of 2008, Constantin Răileanu (our leader) brought from Istanbul many instruments like oud, ney, bağlama, setar, davul, dairé, bendir/def, tanbur, zurna and more used before the westernisation of all romanian music in the Romanian Principalities.
Until 2010, the musicians of our Ensemble have studied intensively to perform on these instruments and since that moment our Ensemble was the first one which brought back in front of the audience the old and secular romanian repertoire performed on the original musical instruments from that period.
Because the public asked for a new album, We chose to release the last live concert performed on classical occidental instruments „UNPLUGGED 2007-De la lume adunate și iarăși la lume date”. In this concert we played not only romanian composers, but also balkanic compositions which were common to all people from this area.
This album, was our second collaboration with ROTON Record Label and our first album containing genuine old Romanian Carols. For this one, we have researched old musical compositions from the manuscripts and publications of XIXth century by composers like Anton Pann, George Ucenescu or ethnological colections by George Breazul, Constantin Brăiloiu etc.
To emphasise the artistical expression, We used poliphony, harmony and heterophony, , in the same time preserving unchanged the original melody from the manuscripts. So, we've combined the Oriental and Occidental musical tools to recreate the perfume of that period to meet the taste of the contemporary audience.
In this way, we've used the movies soundtracks style, because we wanted to create musical images and to awaken the memories of the childhood in relation to Christmas moments.
At the begining of 2006, we've started a collaboration with ROTON Record Label and ZAHARICALE was the first product of this partnership. Most of the songs are from our first album - KALOFONIKA, also containing new ones.
Like on the KALOFONIKA, we used western classical musical instruments merge with romanian modal scales to remember the oriental sound. For this, we combined our byzantine musical experience (our singers are church singers-protopsaltes) with our romanian tradition and oriental oral tradition.
ZAHARICALE and KALOFONIKA have influenced many of the mainstream musicians (f.e. Loredana Groza) who returned to Anton Pann collection and was an example for other ensembles (like Trei Parale, Imago Mundi, Kalofonis, Floralia etc). Also, some of our entire songs from up mentioned albums were used in movies soundtracks (like in Aniela Tv show).
Kalofonika is the first album of Anton Pann Ensemble, and has a beautifull story behind its creation. After our first series of concerts, one of our fans, a priest from Bucharest, came and asked us how much could be the cost for an album. In that moment we felt closer to our dreams and imediately we requiest an offer from a different studios. We found a professional one and in the summer of 2005 we recorded our first CD - KALOFONIKA.
Due of the lack of knowledge in oriental interpretation, previous musicians failed to perform and record valuable materials from this repertoire. Also, it was impossible to find skilled musicians to perform on oriental musical instruments in our country. So, at the begining, we've started with western-educated musicians (who performed on western musical instruments), but learning to corectelyuse the oriental modal system.
The main features and style of our Ensemble were the originality and the capacity to apply the oriental modal system on the western musical instruments (usualy used in western classical orchestra) thus replacing the missing oriental instruments.
So, after one year since our first public concert (in 2004), with the help from that priest, we've succeeded to release our first album and to fill the gap in our nation musical history. For this album we've performed romanian secular music from the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries, preserving the original manuscripts and colections melodies from that period, according with the music theoretical treaties from the same time.