The Wiwi Jury — our in-house team of music unprofessionals — is reviewing and rating the 37 competing songs in Eurovision 2023. Next we review Moldova, who have chosen Pasha Parfeni with “Soarele și Luna”.
Were we singing praises to the sun and moon? Read on to find out!
Pasha Parfeni – “Soarele și Luna” (Moldova Eurovision 2023)
Review: Pasha Parfeni – “Soarele și Luna”
Ruxandra: I find this one brilliant. The song is excellent, starting from something authentic but with a modern twist that makes the sound FRESH. The whole song has A CONCEPT. It’s like a folk fairy tale with a universal love message in the lyrics, a very relatable one. Yet, a good song is not enough without a good performance… But in Moldova’s case we can’t complain. On a vocal level, everything gets better and better with every single performance that I see, and that’s great because it’s a visible progress, just as it should be. Pasha has an incredible interaction with the crowd so he makes the audience feel involved in the performance.
Oliver: “Soarele și Luna” is the Moldovan take on a tried and tested Eurovision formula, combining traditional sounds with electronic elements for a bewitching otherworldly piece. Alas, Pasha Parfeni’s attempt at folk-EDM doesn’t match the quality of its predecessors. The base elements are there, and they’re strong. However, the main flute theme remains undeveloped throughout, and the vocal is repetitive beyond measure. Pasha would do well to occasionally push his voice up an octave and add some extra flourishes to bring the latter half of the song to life. It’s a respectable entry, but has the potential to be so much more.
Rick: This song is totally likable from the very first second onwards. It perfectly combines modern electro sounds with typical Moldovan folklore elements. I really enjoy this mix of genres and Pasha is the perfect artist for it. The fact that he completely sings the song in Romanian gives it another boost. It’s been stuck in my head for weeks and I love it.
Deban: The fusion of folklore and flute electronica is an acquired taste. It requires visuals to give it immediacy. The visual teaser depicting women with horns and a dwarf in battle armoury isn’t what I’d expect. Whilst I’m delighted to have Pasha Parfeni back at Eurovision, I am unable to hide my strong preference for his previous entry, “Lăutar”. And therein lies the problem. Yes, this comeback gets props for not repeating itself. However, it isn’t an improvement.
Kristín: Dear Moldova. Hear my humble plea. Please, please…NEVER CHANGE! Keep being so wonderfully weird and fun, because you are always bringing the fun. And Pasha has the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent that is never frowned upon in Eurovision land. “Soarele și Luna” is everything that Moldova does so well. It’s an ethnic bop with some serious punch and is almost hypnotising in its gorgeous chaos. Welcome back Pasha, and please don’t leave us unattended for so long again.
Moldova Eurovision 2023 ranking
In the Eurovision 2023 Wiwi Jury, we have 20 jurors but only have room for five reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 4 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.61/10
What do you think of Moldova’s Eurovision 2023 entry? Share your own score and review for Pasha Parfeni’s “Soarele și Luna” below!
After Croatia, this is by far my fav this year. So special and exciting.
All fhe best, Pasha!
totally deserved score. If last year got 2nd place in tele, this deserves it as well sine it’s a MUCH better song. But, of course, it’ll not do as well, knowing how televote is
The song is ok . The music is better. Love the performers charisma. It does get a tad repetitive though towards the end. Don’t understand the little guy’s role to be honest. It sounds ethnic and is probably going for the televote appeal. This is going through easily.
Score : 7/10
This song makes use of folk instrumentation for atmospheric effect, but beyond that, there isn’t much development beyond the one idea. We are seemingly stuck in C minor for the entire song. If the topic of the song is marriage, then it’s certainly an enduring one, burdened with the same key.
this is my favorite, take it or leave it. I think, dark horse. 5th place at least
There is something we need to keep in mind, Not just because Moldova had a great staging last year it means they have the money this year. Lots of times performers invest in their stagings. San Marino had a very expensive and amazing staging last year, paid by Aquille Lauro himself. Do-Re-Dos didn’t have money but they were cleaver enough to have one of the best stagings! “My Lucky day” ended in 10th place. They said they spend barely 15,000 euros
I really like Pasha! My favourite of his entries is “O mie” by Aliona. Finished 11th as Lautar did the previous year. And yes, Pasha was on stage playing the piano for Aliona. I have a problem this year with the song. France tried something similar last year and failed. Those pretended “Epic” songs are now “Meh” Having the little man playing the flute while he bends towards him is cringy. No issues with the little man, the thing is he “bends” like “Look at me, I included a little guy in my performance” The little guy is accurate if… Read more »
If sometimes Moldova does so well with songs that are overlooked (sometimes for fair reasons) by the fandom, imagine what they can do with one that’s genuinely liked right away? Pasha sells “Soarele si Luna” really well and the chorus will live on everybody’s head after just one play. Knowing they’ll find a way to make things even more showy when they stage it in Liverpool, I’m confident Moldova will once again make the audiences happy. I just want to ask one thing: show the flute player’s face, he deserves to be seen. 7
Oh I really wished it worked that way. ;;
It definitely feels that televoters are deliberately drawn to the bad Moldovan entries and don’t have any time for those that actually are half-decent.
The day Moldova manages to unite their talent for unpretentious fun with some jury appreciation, they’ll be a big threat. Staying away from you-know-who is a good first step though.
I don’t know. I love Pasha,I really do. But this year is not even in my top 10 of that semifinal. We have seen this kind of ethic epic songs before. It is like France last year.
I won’t even use France as comparison, because “Fullen” was probably too dark and aggressive for casual viewers, while “Soarele si luna” is more sunny and festive. But I agree that the bar for modernized ethnic songs is higher right now, especially after what Ukraine did with “Shum” and “Stefania”.
Arguably the best of three artists trying to make a comeback in the Moldovan NF. I always like some ethnic music when its done with care and taste. It also reminds to they type a songs we used to hear from Eastern countries back in the 2000s and the early 2010s. It feels atemporal rather than dated. I’m sure the song will be paired with an epic, visual and frenetic staging, kind of a pagan party. I do think maybe Moldova is a bit overrated iwith a score of 7.61/10. Moldova makes it into my top 15: 10. Ireland (7)… Read more »
Another great Moldova entry. Nothing else like this in the semis, love the ethnics elements.Wish we had more ethnic songs this year. Sailing through to the final and maybe even top 10
I liked the song and honestly, Moldova does kitsch like no one else does. Still, is there a specific reason why the Moldovan Medio Metro was featured in the video?
This song is following an ethnic witchcraft vibe from GO_A France last year and the baton now passes to Moldova. I hope the staging in Liverpool matches that of GO_A
That is why the song is terrible. France didn’t do well last year. And I love Pasha! my Favourite “O mie”
Yes, this is what I call an epic, badass, ethnic bop! I’m very pleased with the high score here, because it seems to be under rated underwater ranking lists I’ve seen, but this is unquestionably in my top 10.
you know what I just realized? I think this is the first time both Romania and Moldova are sending songs in Romanian at the same Eurovision contest.
I absolutely adore this track. It’s exceptionally polished and produced, it almost sounds like a Vidbir winning song, which is a huge compliment.
If they nail the staging (which I think they will) then I think this will place top 10, or even higher. This is the biggest underdog of the year!
I love this! Great concept, great singer, great energy! 9/10
Bland as hell. If this song does well in May, it is all due to the effort of that little guy who is 99% of the show. The remaining 1% is some crazy hermit looking guy doing some strange dance moves. If you can call moving back and forward dancing.
Moldova is Chaos, but the good type of Chaos. The one you know you can perfectly vibe with.
Never change Moldova. Please
MEZING+ / megusta / medaigual / meh.
I didn’t expect such a high score for this, even Deban ranked this higher than I thought, given his music preferences
It’s a great ehnic bop, i really enjoy the beat with the flute. A bit ysterious and dark as well, i wish they’re gonna go with this vibe on stage. There is heart and soul in this song, feels indeed like a story teller as Ruxandra stated. Needs an effective staging to lock its qualification.
Rating: 7.5/10 (15th)
There’s a problem each time the flute stops playing some weird lisp or smth like that can be heard. It’s really annoying.
This is one of my fave entries, but I agree with Deban that an octave change could make it cooler at the end.
This fulfills its niche very well, and I imagine it will succeed with those viewers hearing it once or twice as a change of pace from the rest. It’s too repetitive and campy for me, though. 5.5/10
Out of all the songs in the Moldovan selection, this was my favourite. Moldova are continuing their streak of unique, crowd pleaser, ethnic bops especially that have an infectious instrumental which judging by their qualification records is a smart move. My only two hesitations with this song which relate to each other are: The public reaction to this, both in rankings (which lets be fair, didn’t affect them last year) and at pre parties, people do seem to be not as invested in this as the likes of last years entry or 2017. I’m not sure it will have the… Read more »
11) Moldova – Although Moldova’s had some absolute duds in the past, Pasha’s entry this year still solidifies my fondness for Moldova in Eurovision. Thoroughly enjoyable the whole way through and I’ll always happily dance or bob my head along to it. 8/10
Enjoyable, wouldn’t mind hearing it twice. 7/5/10 for me.
i can’t be the only one who thinks the scores for the wiwi jury in the past two years have been inflated .. a 7.61 for this??
There’s this hippy, new age-y vibe about “Soarele si luna” that I find both alienating and intriguing. Pasha Parfeni’s wedding under the stars is inspired by a Romanian ballad called “Mioritza”, where it serves as a metaphor for death, an ill-fated shepherd’s vision of return to nature. Here, Pasha still presumably plays the role of a shepherd (he “sang doinas”, which are traditional peasant tunes). But the song is not really about death – in interviews Pasha consistently refers to the theme as “cosmic love”, and accentuates its ties with his real-life wedding and relationship with his wife. You could… Read more »
Some really great background information about the meaning of the song there, Skiwalko! I had heard some of these things but not all of them, so the more I know!
I think the song can handle the darker possible interpretations about it. I guess, saying it’s simply about “Cosmic Love” makes for an easier interview with the Eurovision websites though!
I do love this, like Käärija he has stuck to his native language, but we can all sing along to the hook. I agree completely with Ruxandra. We all know what the sun and moon are, and we all know how to say those words in Romanian. I’m getting goose pimples just thinking how this is going to go down in Liverpool.
This one’s a grower. A bit weird on first listen but slowly I realized just how unique this entry is. While the NF performance was quite messy and all over the place, I have faith in Moldova’s staging skills that this becomes another memorable Moldovan entry onto the pile.
For me it’s a 7/10, could be higher if they improve the staging in May
An absolute ethnic banger, great folklore/modern fusion, a message with the essence of mysticality and the rhythm easily sticks to you with the first listen. I would change some stuff about the live performance but still, a great entry. My #15, with an 8/10 rating.
Also BTW, it’s quite funny how he’s singing about the sun and the moon while his 2 rivals for the ESC ticket were Aliona Moon and the SunStroke Project…
I enjoy this one and it grew on me after a couple of listens. There’s a mystical vibe with the heavy beats and the flute that drives the melody, that feels like it’s driving you in a ritualistic journey deep in the forests. And I’m on board. Yes, I see the comparisons drawn to “Fulenn”, which was superior for me and one of my Top 5 songs last year, but each song has its own identity and I can enjoy both of them without having to put them against eachother. And I don’t mind the slightly gimmicky presentation – once… Read more »
18th place: MOLDOVA: I’ll start off by saying that Moldova almost never stops amusing us with their entries. ‘Soarele si luna’ is a fun ethno-pop banger that even if it may border on being kitsch and being reminiscent of 00s Eurovision entries from Eastern Europe, it still lets me enjoy it to a certain degree. It is certainly catchy and I think that it will do good given a good staging (Moldova is good in this sector). However I can’t rank it higher since it is more of a guilty pleasure for me rather than a song I genuinely connect… Read more »
Not my favourite in Moldova this year but was my strong second and very happy it was chosen. Can’t argue that Pasha made more use of the “modest” stage that TRM provided him than Aliona did, so an understandable decision and one that, certainly in a televote-only semi final makes a lot of sense. Eurovision does need some element of folk/traditional flavoured music and many of the countries you’d normally expect that to come from, went in a different direction this year. Thankfully, Moldova stepped up. For me, this is this genre of music done well. It’s got great musical… Read more »
I had a good laugh with your “singing about wine while looking like drinking from a brown paper bag” comment. Other than that I have my difficulties not seeing antlers and golden warrior helmets as “overly clichéd”. 😉
I don’t have anything to disagree with. This entry currently sits at my 9th place, just about edging into a 9, after rounding it up, taking all the potential into consideration. At the national selection, it was first a 7.5, then an 8 after it was selected. If he was that good in a setting that cheap looking, I can only imagaine what he’ll do at ESC. I still love Shum and Fulenn even more (both are a 10 for me), but Soarele si Luna offers a new tweak to that genre, and I’m here for it! Meanwhile, I quite… Read more »
“O Mie” will always be my favourite Moldovan entry of all time, and it’s also a great proof of how versatile Pasha is as a songwriter. Not a big fan of “Hey Mamma” personally – I always preferred their first entry “Run Away”, which on retrospect seems to be one of Moldova’s most underrated entries.
“O Mie” is also my favourite Moldovan entry, though I am also rating “Hora Din Moldova” similarly. Very different songs obviously but both top of their class when it comes to what they attempt to do.
I think I am in agreement with Colin that “Soarele Si Luna” might be in that top three position for all-time Moldovan entries (“Hey Mamma” wouldn’t be keeping it out for me).
Seems like I am the least generous when it comes to this song in comparison with most of us. Nevertheless, I like the song. It will surely qualify and I want it to. It’s just that I view it more as a guilty pleasure and for this reason I ranked it where I did. It’s good to have it in the contest though and I have a feeling it will do really well!
I think the performance aspect of it might be kitschy for some people but when it comes to the instrumentation and the actual song, I genuinely don’t think there’s anything to feel guilty about. There’s quality work being done here in all aspects of its production. I think it’s actually good, not “guilty” good.
MOLDOVA – I always have an appreciation for well-executed mysterious chants rooted in folklore. As someone who didn’t have Pasha’s previous ESC song among his top favorites, I was pleasantly surprised by just how much I love his new entry. It quickly grew on me, and considering that Moldova always manages to amplify their stagings at ESC, I imagine it might grow even further. The dark setting perfectly captures the story about celebrating both life and death in quite an interesting way. The flute, which dominates the instrumentation throughout, is both calming and eerie. The minor issue might be that… Read more »
Well, from folklore to fantasy, there’s usually only a small step, I’ll give you that. So our reasoning is not that different, we just draw different conclusions from it.
I love both folklore and fantasy, when done creatively. Soarele si luna is based on a folklore tale of two people who couldn’t get married, so they decided to do so in hiding, with the sun and the moon being their witnesses. The tale is also a metaphor of crossing over to ”the other side”, as his love couldn’t be obtained in this world.
That’s an excellent review and completely reflects how I feel about this song too. I don’t mind that it is a bit repetitive. It’s one of those cases where the rhythm becomes immersive, and I’ve always been a sucker for a flute-driven melodic line and some chanting. I want to add also that the fact that they sing in their native language enhances the whole experience and I want to praise Moldova for doing that.
It doesn’t come across as overly repetitive to me but I can see your point in that, in terms of progression, it shows its hand a bit too early. What they could’ve done was have that first chorus/drop performed with less in the way of the percussion, maybe even completely strip it back, so that the second time it comes around, it hits different. I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker or anything but these are the sort of musical considerations that can take a song from being a top ten song to being a top five song, for example. Completely… Read more »
This song grew on me like no other song this year and sit at my top 5 at the moment. Honestly I see the gimmicks and I don’t care about them I’m just enjoying a good song.
super solid catchy ethnic bop, such an upgrade from Lautar too <3
a good competitor for the running order head to head with Loreen (Pasha showing he is more versatile, while Loreen is more doing same things as with euphoria, Loreen still is a very safe and sure qualifier lol but this isn’t a perfect running order she could’ve hoped for)
great song, been stanning it since the NF, my no.1 fave and isn’t too often my faves win nf’s
If i was Loreen i would be very afraid of Pasha lol
what is more popular among the fandom, ethno music or generic pop?
Sweden try also sending some ethno stuff, but they never won’t because they are too scared of taking risks, and like playing things safe
No they have, and they last did in 2000 when they finished 7th. Jon Henrik Fjallgren came very close to winning on a couple of occasions too. Melodifestivalen is very competitive with many big names competing every year, and Swedes seem to like their pop music culture so it’s difficult to see them sending folk inspired songs too often. That said, I would like to see some more variety from Sweden for sure.
Norrsken would’ve been my 1st place that year <3
this year Mer Av Dig would’ve been such a great addition to this years line up, such a cool catchy pop song, or Panetoz On My Way also strong summer vibes pop banger
My favourite song of his is the 2017 duet with Aninia “En värld full av strider”. I’m still annoyed that it didn’t win and Swedes sent Robin Bengtsson’s plastic pop song instead.
9. Pasha Parfeni – The sun and the moon (Moldova) – 8/10 – Here we have the universally ancient delivered over a thrusting modern beat. The track stirs our vaguely-recognisable origins at the same time as pointing us towards our future. The live performance aptly cranks up the entertainment value.
Looks like you, me and Colin can all enjoy this one without any disagreements. It was about time!
Tasteless, gimmicky, dwarf with no reason, repetitive, already seen like a million times, weak melody. cheap, cringe, I feel second hand embarrassment while watching it… I cant give it 1 bc there are worse this year than this, so 2/10
My personal number 8 this year, although I think this is too high of a score. He’ll do good, but won’t have the impact on the televote like Moldova last year.
Nice score for Pasha! Personally I like this song, but as we’re used now of this type of folk-EDM song, it’s not really new, surprising or inovative. It remains a qualitative entry for sure, well executed and there are no other songs like that in the competition this year, it must help him to stand out and to qualify.
This is in my personal top 3 this year. I really enjoy listening to it and I think Moldova are going to stage this very well in Liverpool. It will do well with the televote for sure but I’m not sure how juries will respond to this. I think they will finish around 7-12 place.
The act is really cringeworthy.
Pasha is a good performer but the song is just Eurovision by numbers.
I am partly agreeing with Deban on this one, as soon as there are high priestesses with antlers doing the backing vocals and a dwarf in shining armor playing the flute to a mysterious tribal beat, I am usually out. I don’t need fantasy characters serenading me. When you take all this away, there is also not much left, the melody is fairly repetitive and his vocals are fine, but not spectacular to a point where they could sell a run of the mill ethno pop track to me. When I hear this kind of song, I get a little… Read more »
One of my top choices this year- Pasha is back and like Loreen- people are comparing songs he has previously entered- and like Loreen people – he is not competing against his previous ESC attempts- he is competing against a whole new range of songs and Soarele si Luna happens to be better than many of them. This will do well also with the Juries because Moldova will score ( shhhh let’s not say it but the reality is it will happen anyway) geopolitical votes. This track is strong, innovative and just the right time for Moldova!
Look, I like this song and Moldova like the next person, but giving this more points than Italy is ac stretch. It’s extremely repetitive, nothing new happens and we saw this song but better in years before. Funny that all of a sudden that’s not a problem with Moldova, when it’s a problem with many other countries.
This song is still my number 10, but I can’t really understand how this got the most points until now. Have you listened to it the whole 3 minutes and not just the (admittedly veeeery catchy) chorus?
One of my favourites this year … ethnic vibes …. Flutes …. Booming edm beats … a charismatic singer … what’s not to love !!