some of our personal favorites, or what we think would make for interesting first impressions:
- Phoenix – Romania’s Jethro Tull. Selected songs with lyrics – here.
- Other old rockers: Iris, Holograf, Timpuri Noi, Sarmalele Reci, Pasărea Colibri (Phoenix softer spin-off)
- Young rockers: Vama Veche, Vank, Viţa de Vie, Voltaj, Bere gratis, Urma, Kumm, Zob
- Special guests from Moldova: Zdob şi Zdub (respect!)
- What Romanians currently like – Romanian Top 100
- Special guest from Moldova, dedicated to all foreigners: O-zone, Dragostea din tei. Obviously.
- If you have to choose one band, listen to Paraziţii,
- But probably the best Romanian hiphop song ever written is B.U.G. Mafia’s Poveste fără sfârşit
Folk music & dance
- Căluşarii – mythical dance from Oltenia
- Căpâlna girls’ dance, sort of a female response.
- Spectacular dances and traditional outfits from mountain people in Bistriţa (it takes off around 3:00) and Oaş.
- Gheorghe Zamfir – the Panflute God. Famous for music in “Kill Bill”, “Once upon a time in America”. And for The Lonely Shepherd.
- Taraful Haiducilor (Taraf des Haidouks) – Virtuoso Gypsy band from Clejani. For example. They also had some fun in Latcho Drom.
- Maria Tănase is the “Milady of Romanian folk music”. One of her most emblematic interpretations is of the song “blestem” (“the curse”).
- Fanfares: Ciorcârlia (BBC award), Savale from Zece Prăjini, who also jammed with Phoenix’s drummer Ovidiu Lipan – for example, here.
- Nicu Alifantis – relaxed guitar chansonettes. Like the Dromader Ballad.
- Alexandru Andrieş – equally relaxed guitar chansonettes. For the most beautiful day.
- Nightlosers – intrumental ethnic jazz. Cool Balkan Blue Rumba.
- Marius Mihalache – outstanding cymbalon jazz
- 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days – Cristian Mungiu’s Palm D’Or 2007 winner
- California Dreamin – “Un Certain Regard” award, Cannes 2007
- Death of Mr. Lazarescu – acclaimed contemporary drama, L.A. Film festival awards
- Hartia va fi albastra (The paper will be blue) – the 1989 Romanian anticommunist Revolution from a “normal people” perspective.
- A fost sau n-a fost (12.08 East of Bucharest)
- E pericoloso sporgersi
- Padurea Spanzuratilor (Palm D’Or 1960)
- Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) – Romania’s Braveheart
- Cel mai iubit dintre Pamanteni
- Nea Marin miliardar – the Amza Pellea comedy
- Constantin Brâncuşi – “father of modern sculpture” – probably the Romanian artist with greatest influence on international level. Too bad there are no Nobel prizes for art.
- Nicolae Grigorescu – most well-kown Romanian painter
A good source for translated poems is Romanian Voice.
- Mihai Eminescu – every nation has a “greatest poet”. For us, it’s Mihai Eminescu. Selected works in English here.
- Paul Celan – the hidden gem of post-WWII poetry
Books about Romania:
“Never mind the Balkans. Here’s Romania“, by Mike Ormsby.
“When cultures collide – Leading across cultures“, by Richard D. Lewis.
- Check videos in the vodpod widget on the right