George Enescu

Biography

Born: August 19, 1881; Liveni-Virnav, Romania   Died: May 4, 1955; Paris, France  
George Enescu is still considered the greatest of all Romanian composers. While he is widely known for just one famous opus, he was in reality a very imaginative, highly skilled composer of music possessing great depth and subtlety, as well as being one of the great concert violinists of his time. For appearances in the West he adapted his name to a form that would prompt the French to pronounce it correctly: Georges Enesco.

He was given
Read more a violin and lessons at the age of four, progressing very rapidly and beginning to compose a year later. Legend has it his first teacher was a Romany fiddler. He entered the conservatory of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna in 1888. His primary violin teacher was Joseph Hellmesberger. He took piano from Ernst Ludwig and harmony, theory, and composition from Robert Fuchs. He made his violin debut in 1889 in Slanic, Moravia. He remained in the Conservatory until 1894, regarded as a fully formed virtuoso at the age of 13. Nevertheless, he went on to the Paris Conservatory for more violin studies, and took harmony, theory, and composition from Dubois, Gédalge, Massenet, and Fauré. This mixture of late Romantic German and French training helped give his music its distinctive quality.

In 1897 the Concerts Colonne gave a concert of his works. The work he decided to designate as his first mature piece, the Poème Roumaine, Op. 1, premiered in 1898. That same year he started conducting the Romanian Philharmonic Society in Bucharest.

Enescu quickly established one of the most important solo and chamber music careers of the time. His recital partner was the great French pianist Alfred Cortot, and he formed a piano trio with Louis Fournier and Alfredo Casella in 1902, and in 1904 the Enescu Quartet. He joined the faculties of the École Normal and the American Conservatory in Paris.

In the meantime, he took an active part in building a classical concert life in his native Romania. He formed a Philharmonic Orchestra in the town of Iasi, and a Composers' Society. He wrote his most famous works, the two Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11, for the Philharmonic. He also worked closely with the Conservatories in Bucharest and Iasi. In 1912 he funded a "George Enescu Prize" in composition, and played the world premieres of the winning works.

He made his first appearances in the United States in 1923, as violinist and guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The brilliant young American prodigy, Yehudi Menuhin, became his most famous pupil. Others were Gitlis, Grumiaux, and Ferras. Through the 1930s he continued work as a violinist, conductor, teacher, musicologist, and organizer, while as a composer he toiled on his powerful opera Oedipus.

When World War II broke out, he happened to be at his country estate in Romania and was more or less stuck there for the duration. After the war ended, he went to New York, where he watched a Soviet-backed government take over his country. He remained in New York, increasingly incapacitated by arthritis. He gave a farewell concert with Menuhin in 1950, then returned to Paris. He suffered a stroke in 1954. As a result of it, he spent ten months almost entirely paralyzed. Read less
Sonatas: Enescu, Prokofiev, Shostakovich
Release Date: 03/10/2015   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2302   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Suites For Piano / Luiza Borac
Release Date: 08/05/2003   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 13   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Piano Sonatas, Scherzo, Etc / Luiza Borac
Release Date: 04/04/2006   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2081   Number of Discs: 2
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Brahms, Bridge, Enescu, Et Al / Rysanov, Chang
Release Date: 05/29/2007   Label: Avie  
Catalog: 2111   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 220 George Enescu recordings available.

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Works

George Enescu


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25: I. Moderato malinconico
II. Andante sostenuto e misterioso
III. Allegro con brio, ma non troppo mosso
WORKS
Aria
Scherzino
Cantabile e Presto: Cantabile - Andante ma non troppo
Presto
I. Molto moderato, un poco maestoso
II. Allegretto molto moderato
III. Adagio
IV. Allegro molto moderato
I. Doucement mouvemente
II. Moderement
III. Allegrement, mais pas trop vif
Menetrier
Vieux mendiant
Ruisselet au fond du jardin
L'oiseau au cage et le coucou au mur
Chanson pour bercer
Grillon
Lune a travers les vitres
Vent dans la cheminee
Tempete au dehors, dans la nuit
Lever de soleil
I. Andante
II. Vivace
I. Tres modere
II. Tres fougueux
III. Lentement
IV. Movt de valse bien rhythmee
Act I Prologue: Prelude
Act I Prologue: Roi Laios, en ta maison (Women, High Priest, Warriors, Shepherds, Creon)
Act I Prologue: Les Dieux ont beni l'enfant (High Priest, Jocasta, Laius, Tiresias, Chorus)
Act II Scene 1: Mais l'exil eternel! (Oedipus, Phorbas, Chorus)
Act II Scene 1: Pourquoi trembler, mon fils? (Merope, Oedipus)
Act II Scene 2: Est-ce deja le Roi? (Shepherd, Oedipus, Laius)
Act II Scene 3: De l'aurore a l'aurore (Watchman, Oedipus, Sphinx)
Act II Scene 3: Ho! Ho! Reveillez-vous, Thebains! (Watchman, Oedipus, Thebans, Chorus)
I. Allegro moderato
II. Andante mesto
III. Vivace
Allegro moderato
Andante pensieroso ed espressivo
Con moto moderato
Allegro moderato
Andante pensieroso
Allegretto scherzando, non troppo vivace
Allegretto moderato
Molto moderato
Andante molto sostenuto ed espressivo
Allegretto non troppo mosso
Con moto - Molto moderato, Energico
Con moto molto moderato
Andante sostenuto e cantabile
Vivace ma non troppo
I. Allegro molto moderato
II. Allegretto scherzando
III. Molto andante
IV. Finale: Presto
I. Allegro moderato ed amabile
II. Allegro agitato, non troppo mosso
III. Andantino cantabile, senza lentezza
IV. Final a la roumaine
I. Allegro molto moderato e grave
II. Presto vivace
III. Andante molto espressivo
I. Allegro vivo
II. Quasi adagio
III. Allegro
I. Assez mouvemente
II. Tranquillement
III. Vif
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 3 in A minor, Op. 25: I. Moderato malinconico
II. Andante sostenuto e misterioso
III. Allegro con brio, ma non troppo mosso
I. Rural springtime
II. Children playing outdoors
III. The old childhood house in the sunset - Shepherd - Migrating birds and crows - The vesper bell
IV. Moonlight upon the river
V. Rustic dances
I. Toccata
II. Sarabande
III. Pavane
IV. Bouree
I. Assez vif et rythme
II. Lent
III. Vif et vigoureux
I. Vivace, ma non troppo
II. Andante giusto
III. Un poco lento, marziale -
IV. Allegro vivace, marziale
I. Moderato, un poco maestoso
II. Vivace, ma non troppo
III. Lento, ma non troppo
I. Moderato molto
II. Andantio moderat piacevole
III. Vivace con fuoco
IV. Andante grave
I. Allegro moderato
II. Allegretto con variazioni - Allegretto moderato - Presto - Allegro piacevole - Tempo di Siciliano lento
III. Andante - Vivace amabile


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