Author Topic: Georges Enescu  (Read 27489 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #140 on: March 31, 2019, 04:53:40 AM »
[Crickets chirping]

I wonder if Rafael saw the list above?
Good day, John, and apologies for the delayed reply (I’ve been rather busy and absent from the forum this last week).

I really don’t have much to say about the list above, as I don’t own all the CDs that appear on it. In any case, the selection of works appears (slightly) random, but is also biased towards Enescu’s late(-ish) output—a good thing, as that’s when the compose managed to integrate all those influences he absorbed (the Brahmsian, the Fauréan and the folk-Romanian) into an individual, highly elaborate style.

Of course seeing Oedipe listed is great, and the Foster recording is probably the best recommendation overall (even if as a performance it‘s superseded by the vintage Brück reading on Malibran—unfortunately with subpar sound, with cuts, and not easy to obtain).

The violin being so central to Enescu’s oeuvre, seeing the complete Azoitei/Stan set on Hännsler also makes sense. My problem, though, is that I have this personal aversion to the violin/pian combination (irrational as that may sound), and really only see the Third Violin Sonata as an indisputable masterpiece on the set.

Symphony No. 3 is probably Enescu’s greatest achievement in the symphonic form, but as you say, the Suite No. 3 “Villageoise” would have been a better exponent of the composer’s orchestral work. I remember not being that impressed by the Concert Overture (but I haven’t listened to it for ages). I don’t know the Lintu cycle of the symphonies, in any case.

Another disc I don’t know is the Schubert’s Ensemble’s traversal of both Piano Quartets. I suppose it’s good to have two works for the same forces but separated by almost 30 years (very typical of Enescu) on the same disc, but I would need to revisit these works (which, again, really didn’t leave such a strong impression—on the recording’s I own).

I do miss some piano music, the Chamber Symphony and the Piano Quintet on the list, of course.

Regards,
ritter
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« Des yeux purs dans les bois
Cherchent en pleurant la tête habitable »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #141 on: March 31, 2019, 05:29:52 AM »
This is what I wrote a year and a half ago about the Ouverture de Concert:

Quote
Enescu – Concert Overture on Popular Romanian Themes in A Major op. 32

First listen.

The title is misleading. I was expecting a folkloric romp in the vein of the First Romanian Rhapsody and I was hugely disappointed absolutely taken by surprise. It starts indeed as in the middle of a peasantly merriment, then it turns into an ethereal, poetic, nocturnal idyll magically preluded and punctuated by nightingales and blackbirds, and then all is quiet and sleepy for a while --- and suddenly, boom and bang, lo and behold!, the history marches on and the only things it has in stock for Romanian peasants and lovers is bad omens and forebodings... and the whole thing ends unambiguously bleak.

And no wonder about it: the 1st Romanian Rhapsody is from 1901, the heydays of the Kingdom of Romania; the Concert Overture is from 1948, the first year of the Communist Republic.

A masterpiece, but one of whose full relevance is lost on non-Romanian listeners, I'm afraid.

I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts. --- Rachmaninoff

Offline ritter

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #142 on: March 31, 2019, 05:58:51 AM »
This is what I wrote a year and a half ago about the Ouverture de Concert:

First listen.

The title is misleading. I was expecting a folkloric romp in the vein of the First Romanian Rhapsody and I was hugely disappointed absolutely taken by surprise. It starts indeed as in the middle of a peasantly merriment, then it turns into an ethereal, poetic, nocturnal idyll magically preluded and punctuated by nightingales and blackbirds, and then all is quiet and sleepy for a while --- and suddenly, boom and bang, lo and behold!, the history marches on and the only things it has in stock for Romanian peasants and lovers is bad omens and forebodings... and the whole thing ends unambiguously bleak.

And no wonder about it: the 1st Romanian Rhapsody is from 1901, the heydays of the Kingdom of Romania; the Concert Overture is from 1948, the first year of the Communist Republic.

A masterpiece, but one of whose full relevance is lost on non-Romanian listeners, I'm afraid.
Thanks for that, Andrei. I certainly must listen to the piece again (with your insightful post in mind).

Un abrazo,

ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« Des yeux purs dans les bois
Cherchent en pleurant la tête habitable »

Offline Florestan

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #143 on: March 31, 2019, 06:20:26 AM »
Complete Works for Violin and Piano (Hänssler):




Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 (Chandos)



I endorse these wholeheartedly.

I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts. --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Florestan

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #144 on: March 31, 2019, 06:21:05 AM »
Thanks for that, Andrei. I certainly must listen to the piece again (with your insightful post in mind).

Un abrazo,

You're welcome, my friend. Big hug to you too.  :-*
I compose music because I must give expression to my feelings, just as I talk because I must give utterance to my thoughts. --- Rachmaninoff

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #145 on: March 31, 2019, 07:17:32 AM »
Good day, John, and apologies for the delayed reply (I’ve been rather busy and absent from the forum this last week).

I really don’t have much to say about the list above, as I don’t own all the CDs that appear on it. In any case, the selection of works appears (slightly) random, but is also biased towards Enescu’s late(-ish) output—a good thing, as that’s when the compose managed to integrate all those influences he absorbed (the Brahmsian, the Fauréan and the folk-Romanian) into an individual, highly elaborate style.

Of course seeing Oedipe listed is great, and the Foster recording is probably the best recommendation overall (even if as a performance it‘s superseded by the vintage Brück reading on Malibran—unfortunately with subpar sound, with cuts, and not easy to obtain).

The violin being so central to Enescu’s oeuvre, seeing the complete Azoitei/Stan set on Hännsler also makes sense. My problem, though, is that I have this personal aversion to the violin/pian combination (irrational as that may sound), and really only see the Third Violin Sonata as an indisputable masterpiece on the set.

Symphony No. 3 is probably Enescu’s greatest achievement in the symphonic form, but as you say, the Suite No. 3 “Villageoise” would have been a better exponent of the composer’s orchestral work. I remember not being that impressed by the Concert Overture (but I haven’t listened to it for ages). I don’t know the Lintu cycle of the symphonies, in any case.

Another disc I don’t know is the Schubert’s Ensemble’s traversal of both Piano Quartets. I suppose it’s good to have two works for the same forces but separated by almost 30 years (very typical of Enescu) on the same disc, but I would need to revisit these works (which, again, really didn’t leave such a strong impression—on the recording’s I own).

I do miss some piano music, the Chamber Symphony and the Piano Quintet on the list, of course.

Regards,

I knew you’d come through eventually, Rafael. 8) Thanks for the feedback. The second Piano Quartet is fantastic. The first performance I heard of it was on the Olympia label and the sound of the instruments was so harsh and overbearing that it robbed the piece of any subtlety and nuance. I liked the piece, but I wanted a better performance in much better sound, so I picked up this recording:



I really enjoy this performance, but other than the Olympia recording, I have nothing to compare it to. I’d like to pick up those Chandos recordings with The Schubert Ensemble at some point, but there’s one review on Amazon that says the sound is subpar, which I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around since this label usually has very fine (albeit reverberant) audio quality. The exclusion of the Chamber Symphony, but also any of the piano music I find truly baffling. But I understand that this list could be used as a sort of introduction to the composer, but that’s about it.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #146 on: March 31, 2019, 07:18:45 AM »
I endorse these wholeheartedly.

I’ve got the violin/piano set, but I don’t own any of these Enescu Chandos recordings. I might have to check them out now.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #147 on: March 31, 2019, 09:29:29 AM »
I really enjoy this performance, but other than the Olympia recording, I have nothing to compare it to. I’d like to pick up those Chandos recordings with The Schubert Ensemble at some point, but there’s one review on Amazon that says the sound is subpar, which I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around since this label usually has very fine (albeit reverberant) audio quality. The exclusion of the Chamber Symphony, but also any of the piano music I find truly baffling. But I understand that this list could be used as a sort of introduction to the composer, but that’s about it.

FWIW, I have both the cpo and Chandos releases and got a lot more pleasure from the cpo. The Schubet Ensemble recording seemed less focused to me, which may have been a combination of the recording and the performances themselves. Of course, you will need both. :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #148 on: March 31, 2019, 09:43:04 AM »
FWIW, I have both the cpo and Chandos releases and got a lot more pleasure from the cpo. The Schubet Ensemble recording seemed less focused to me, which may have been a combination of the recording and the performances themselves. Of course, you will need both. :)

Thanks for the feedback, Scarpia. I think I’ll pass on those Chandos recordings. It’s not like I’m in any need of them. I already own an incredible performance of the Quintet courtesy of Kremer et al. and the CPO recording of the Piano Quartets has been serving me well.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Georges Enescu
« Reply #149 on: April 07, 2019, 05:41:59 AM »
Cross-posted from the ‘Listening’ thread:

First-Listen Sundays -

Enescu
Impressions d’enface, Suite, Op. 28 (Orch. Theodor Grigoriu)
Sherban Lupu, violin
Sinfonia da Camera
Ian Hobson, conductor




This sounds quite nice, but I definitely prefer the violin/piano original arrangement to this orchestral arrangement. Not that it isn’t well-done, but when you hear the original, it just sounds closer to Enescu’s heart. So this recording entitled Impressions has turned out to be a disappointment with the exception of the Chamber Symphony, which was well-performed, but so are the other performances I have in my collection of this work.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy