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George Enescu: Chamber Music, 1895-1906

Enescu / Bara / Samouil / Causse / Grimm
Release Date: 01/10/2011 
Label:  Indesens   Catalog #: 36  
Composer:  George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia BaraTatiana SamouilGérard CausséVincent Lucas,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A five-star CD that should appeal to anyone with ears and a heart.

As the subtitle of this virtually all-French disc indicates, the performances here are concerned with the young George Enescu - very young, often. There is no question that Enescu was precocious - his Ballade for violin and piano was published as his op.4 when he was still fourteen, by which time he had already graduated from the Vienna Conservatory, having enrolled at the age of seven. By the time he wrote two of his best-known chamber works, the Légende for trumpet and piano, and the Konzertstück for viola and piano, Enescu was an 'old' man of 25, and had already published his First Symphony, his two Romanian Rhapsodies, two
Read more Violin Sonatas and a Cello Sonata, his Octet and Dixtuor, and much more besides.
 
Yet none of his music sounds like juvenilia. In fact Enescu shows an expressive maturity far beyond his years: the Impromptu Concertant and Ballade, both for violin and piano, and especially the Sérénade Lointaine for piano trio, are truly atmospheric, yearning and dreamy. The same could be said of the beautiful flute-work of the Cantabile. Elsewhere, his supreme lyricism, easy elegance and boundless fertility - all coinciding, for example, in the ravishing folk-like Aubade for string trio - make these works something that most composers twice Enescu's age would be proud to put their names to.

Indésens' sound engineering here is first-rate, although there is some uncomely noisy breathing from flautist and cellist at times. Légende sounds slightly recessed, but all the better to avoid the distortion that comes from recording a trumpet too closely. The booklet is very informative with regard to the works and has photos and detailed biographies of the performers, if nothing on Enescu himself. Some of the photos are in the post-modern style - slightly blurred and badly framed to intimate zaniness. The only regrettable thing about this whole product, some minor orthographic transgressions aside, is the choice of font used throughout the booklet - one where the blockish letters run into each other, making legibility a chore.
 
Most of these works have been recorded at least once, often several times, though seldom in a monographic programme that a composer of Enescu's genius merits. With splendid individual and team performances from all the soloists and a generous running time, this is a five-star CD that should appeal to anyone with ears and a heart.
 
-- Byzantion, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Suite for Piano no 2 in D major, Op. 10 by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1903; Paris, France 
2. Impromptu Concertant by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Tatiana Samouil (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
3. Ballade for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 4a by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Tatiana Samouil (Violin)
4. Concert Piece for Viola and Piano by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Gérard Caussé (Viola)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1906; Romania 
5. Cantabile and Presto for Flute and Piano by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Vincent Lucas (Flute)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1904; Romania 
6. Nocturne and Saltarello for Cello and Piano by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Justus Grimm (Cello)
Period: Romantic 
Written: by 1897; Romania 
7. Pastorale, Menuet triste and Nocturne for Violin and Piano 4 hands by George Enescu
Performer:  Tatiana Samouil (Violin), Claudia Bara (Piano), Carmen-Elena Rotaru (Piano)
8. Legende by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Frédéric Mellardi (Trumpet)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: circa 1905; Romania 
9. Aubade, for violin, viola & cello in C major by George Enescu
Performer:  Justus Grimm (Cello), Gérard Caussé (Viola), Tatiana Samouil (Violin)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 11/1899 
10. Sérénade lointaine for Piano, Violin and Cello by George Enescu
Performer:  Tatiana Samouil (Violin), Claudia Bara (Piano), Justus Grimm (Cello)
Period: Post-Romantic 
Written: 11/15/1903 
11. Tarantelle for Violin and Piano by George Enescu
Performer:  Claudia Bara (Piano), Tatiana Samouil (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 

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