In mid-September, the Heroes’ Cross on the Caraiman Peak, in the Bucegi Mountains, was the site of an unusual event in the history of pan-flute playing, and music in general as Nicolae Voiculet, along with his orchestra and other guest performers gave a special concert as a tribute for the victims of the two world wars. According to Guinness World Records, the Caraiman Cross is the world’s tallest summit cross, being located at an altitude of nearly 2,285 m. The concert given at the feet of the Cross was part of a tour called “Romania from your heart,” carried out by pan-flute player Nicolae Voiculet this year in Romania and abroad.
“Romania from your heart” is intended to raise people’s awareness of the true Romanian values, its heroes, history, roots and the ideas of home and family. The connection between pan-flute, tourism and the country brand is strong and deep. The pan-flute as such, with its strength and sound, is part and parcel of the Romanian identity and tourism, given that Romania is regarded as the homeland of the pan-flute, said artist Nicolae Voiculet, who has written and adapted a number of songs especially for this event. Here’s how he welcomed his guests at an altitude of almost 2,300 meters:
“We’re honoured and thrilled because we are playing for Romania’s martyrs and heroes today, when we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of the Holy Cross. I am very happy that around me I have so many wonderful people who came all the way from the village of Avram Iancu, in the Apuseni Mountains. Let me introduce a wonderful group of alpenhorn players who have been playing all around the world, as well as the orchestra I have been working with for 20 years now. We’re all here and we’re going to play for you. Let me also introduce you to a great musician from Chisinau, who is part of my orchestra. Together we will be playing and singing the most beautiful song this nation has ever had, the most touching and the most uplifting: the anthem of Romania. We thank you for being with us and we dedicate this song to you.”
The concert featured popular traditional tunes, such as the Morris dance, the Skylark and many others. The host of the event, the mayor of Busteni, Emanoil Savin, welcomed the guests to the concerts and also spoke about other events held in the area:
”Welcome to Busteni, where we have had a busy time recently, starting with celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the Princely Church in the town, which was built by Queen Elisabeth I and King Carol I. Today, on the Feast of the Holy Cross, the Caraiman Monastery was also consecrated. This Athos of Romania, as we described the monastery in 2000 when we laid the foundation stone of a little church in the monastery’s courtyard, is a corner of heaven, a wonderful spot, a place full of faith, and today, 5,000 people attended the consecration festivities. This little monastery church, which you passed by on your way to this location, will be used to hold services for the pilgrims to the Heroes’ Cross on the Caraiman Mountain. We hope we will soon be able to start restoration works and promote the Cross as a tourist site, given that it has been included in the Guinness World Records. The Cross was built between 1926 and 1928 by Queen Mare. I have come many times to lay flowers at the Heroes’ Cross, but I have never seen so many people as I do today.“
To attend the concert given by Nicolae Voiculet and his orchestra, the alpenhorn players from Avram Iancu, in Alba county, the Morris dancers’ folk ensemble from Caracal and all the other musicians, spectators had to take the cable car up the mountain and then travel by car to the Cross on Caraiman Peak. In the evening, the musicians gave a charity concert hosted by the Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni. The proceeds will be used to grant a special scholarship in memory of Romania’s iconic panpipe player Fanica Luca, 120 years after his birth. The tour initiated by Nicolae Voiculet reached Tranyslvania at the end of September, when the musician and his orchestra gave a concert in the Fagaras Citadel in memory of the anti-communist fighters. It was not by chance that the Fagaras Citadel was chosen as the venue for the concert, as between 1948 and 1960, it served as a prison for the people who opposed the communist regime.