'The Cosmic Powers' (1997) is a ballet inspired by some archetypal aspects of the soul as symbolized by the ancient goddesses, though the music itself is mostly in the Classical style, and scored for a colorful orchestra, with additions of synthesizer sounds, harps, piano, organ and various percussion instruments.
The two Romanian Rhapsodies (1998) explore some of the many facets of traditional folk tunes, in No. 1 slowly and polyphonic, and in No. 2 exuberant and harmonized only with the notes of the respective melodies. Almost the same exuberance appears in the Concert Overture in A major (1998), although on original themes and with intense developments and a rather gloomy slow introduction.
'Ciuleandra' (2000) is a descriptive scene based on the ancient, enigmatic Romanian dance by the same title, which is probably a remnant of a Dacian 'shamanistic' ritual of sending a messenger to God. The slow introduction of this scene aims to depict the assembly of Dacian men on a holy mountain top, near the cave of the high priest, and the chosen messenger who enters the cave. As he goes deeper and deeper into the darkness of the cave to meet the high priest, various entities and spirits try to deter him from his way, but finally he arrives in the end hall where the very old high priest waits in a dim, mysterious light. The two men sit and the priest begins to play on the pipe the Ciuleandra dance, gradually accelerated to more and more ecstatic an effect in the mind of the messenger.
The Academic Festive Overture in C major (2005) is a fun and pompous exercise in Neo-Baroque style, intended for my high school reunion (!). The old form of the French overture, with a central, elaborate fugato upon a long subject, makes fun by concealing several students' tunes, including the famous 'Gaudeamus igitur'.
'Skolion' (2006) is a simple piece for wind ensemble and percussion, harmonizing the oldest complete extant composition in the world, the epitaph by an ancient Greek named Seikilos for his wife Euterpe.
Two more concert overtures close the set. The first, a Heroic Overture in A major (2010), written in homage to the great Austrian composer Anton Bruckner, is a fierce, ambitious work in Romantic style and in a developed sonata form with three themes (two of them adapted after the main theme in Bruckner's Sixth Symphony and the second theme in the finale of Beethoven's Piano Trio Op. 70 No. 2).
The second overture, 'Svejk' (2011), was originally intended as stage music for a play adapted after Jaroslav Hasek's great satyric anti-war novel. Therefore, there is irony everywhere in its music, and the themes are the famous 'Radetzky March' by Johann Strauss the elder (but marred by senile repetitions, excisions and other surprises, to represent the musty character of the Austrian-Hungarian empire a hundred years ago), a heavy German national anthem , and the Czech and Slovak national anthems.