While the first recording took us on a musical journey around the world, "Romanian Rhapsody" takes us to the pianist's home(s): the title piece by George Enescu is a veritable hymn to Romania, where she began her career as a travelling wunderkind. A happy encounter with Claudio Abbado then led her career to Vienna, where a scholarship made it possible for her to study seriously. She was just twelve years old at the time, and the Austrian capital became her second home in due course. The music on her new album thus follows the course of the Danube as it were and extends to Schubert.
In order to make the dialects of this very varied but historically coherent cultural sphere as manifest as possible, Mihalea Ursuleasa has selected works that draw upon the rich store of folklore from the respective countries. The pianist is altogether in her element here and unfolds a spectrum of idioms that range through vitally energetic pieces and elegant dances to sublimely songful works.
In the Bartók Rhapsody she is vigorously supported by the star violinist and crossover artist Gilles Apap; they preface the piece with a free improvisation.