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 Počme 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
Dvorák: Serenade For Winds;  Janacek, Enescu / Oslo Soloists
Release Date: 04/11/2000   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8554173   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Oedipe Op 23 / Gielen, Pederson, Lipovsek, Et Al
Release Date: 01/17/2006   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8660163-64   Number of Discs: 2
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Enescu: Piano Sonata No 1, Suite No 1 / Matei Varga
Release Date: 10/26/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572120   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Complete Works for Violin & Piano Vol 1 / Strauss, Poletaev
Release Date: 08/27/2013   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572691   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Complete Works For Violin And Piano, Vol. 2
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572692   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 213 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Pieces De Concours
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 6065 Release Date: 11/18/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Paul-Henri Büsser,  Philippe Gaubert,  Paul Rougnon,  Léon Honnoré  ... 
    Performer:  Elise Desjardins,  Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot
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  • 2.
    Fin de siecle: Music for Viola & Piano / Power, Crawford-Phillips
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68165 Release Date: 09/30/2016  
    Composer:  Paul-Henri Büsser,  Ernest Chausson,  Claude Debussy,  Lucien Durosoir  ... 
    Performer:  Lawrence Power,  Simon Crawford-Phillips
    CD: $18.99
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  • 3.
    Enescu & Arensky: First Piano Trios / Trio Enescu
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 16447 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Anton Arensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Enescu
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    Enescu: Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 3 / Solaun
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 707 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Josu de Solaun
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    Enescu: Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 2 / Solaun
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 706 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Josu de Solaun
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  • 6.
    Label: Evidence   Catalog: 25 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Erwin Schulhoff,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Robert Muczynski
    Performer:  Sanja Bizjak,  Raquele Magalhaes
    CD: $20.99
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  • 7.
    Rhapsody / Matsuev, Jansons, Bavarian Radio Symphony
    Label: Br Klassik   Catalog: 900146 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Emmanuel Chabrier,  George Gershwin,  George Enescu,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Denis Matsuev
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 8.
    Trumpet in Chamber Music / Mellardi
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 88 Release Date: 08/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Enescu,  Francis Poulenc,  Erik Satie  ... 
    Performer:  Frédéric Mellardi,  Laurent Wagschal,  Claudia Bara,  Guillaume Cottet-Dumoulin  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 9.
    Enescu, Dvorak & Schumann: Violin Sonatas / Goulding, Dorken
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38536 Release Date: 07/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Antonín Dvorák,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Caroline Goulding,  Danae Dörken
    CD: $18.99
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  • 10.
    Mosaic / Trio 826
    Label: Blue Griffin   Catalog: 403 Release Date: 07/12/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Alexander Borodin,  Hans Krása,  Zoltán Kodály  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio 826
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 11.
    125 Years of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Hamish MacCunn,  Carl Nielsen,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Felicity Lott,  Lydia Mordkovitch
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi,  Sir Alexander Gibson,  Bryden Thomson,  Matthias Bamert  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Childhood Impressions / Tarara, Vakova-Tarara
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38212 Release Date: 06/24/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Stefan Tarara,  Lora Vakova-Tarara
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  • 13.
    Enescu: Complete Works for Solo Piano, Vol. 1 / Solaun
    Label: Grand Piano   Catalog: 705 Release Date: 06/10/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Josu de Solaun
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  • 14.
    Legende: Works for Trumpet & Piano / Balsom, Poster
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555933 Release Date: 06/03/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Françaix,  George Enescu,  Alexander Goedicke,  Peter Maxwell Davies  ... 
    Performer:  Alison Balsom,  Tom Poster
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  • 15.
    Yuri Bashmet: The Complete RCA Recordings
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 88875168382 Release Date: 05/27/2016   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Max Bruch,  Alfred Schnittke,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Yuri Bashmet,  Viktor Tretyakov,  Mikhail Muntian,  Larissa Diadkova
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Neeme Järvi,  Yuri Bashmet,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Soloists
    On sale! $28.98
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  • 16.
    First Day / Metcalf, Varga
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 92201 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  José Bragato,  Bohuslav Martinu,  Caleb Burhans,  Alberto Ginastera  ... 
    Performer:  Laura Metcalf,  Matei Varga
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  • 17.
    The Menuhin Century: Complete Recordings with Hephzibah Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555055 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Maurice Eisenberg,  Maurice Gendron
    CD: $63.99
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  • 18.
    The Menuhin Century: Luxury Edition
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 555050 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 91
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny,  Arcangelo Corelli  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen,  Artur Balsam,  Marcel Gazelle  ... 
    Conductor:  Landon Ronald,  Pierre Monteux,  Jean Fournet,  Anatole Fistoulari  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Paris Symphonic Orchestra,  Colonne Concerts Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $239.98
    CD: $199.99
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  • 19.
    Enescu, Bartok, Tuur & Korvits: Works for Piano / Poll
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1256 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Béla Bartók,  Erkki-Sven Tuur,  Tőnu Kőrvits
    Performer:  Mihkel Poll
    CD: $19.99
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  • 20.
    Decca Sound – Dutoit: The Montreal Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002449102 Release Date: 02/19/2016   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ernest Chausson,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Timothy Hutchins,  Beverly Hoch,  Stanford Olsen  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Chorus
    CD: $117.99
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  • 21.
    My Tribute to Yehudi Menuhin / Daniel Hope
    Label: Dg Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002443102 Release Date: 02/05/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Bechara El-Khoury,  Steve Reich,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Hope,  Simos Papanas,  Emanuele Forni,  Naoki Kitaya  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Basel Chamber Orchestra,  German Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 22.
    The French Influence / Schwarz, Paik
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1047 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arthur Honegger,  Jacques Ibert,  Henri Senée,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Gerard Schwarz,  Kun-Woo Paik
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    George Enescu: Complete Works for Piano Solo / Stirbat
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98060 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Raluca Stirbat
    CD: $29.99
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  • 24.
    George Enescu: Symphony 4; Chamber Symphony; Nuages D'automne Sur Les Forets
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777966 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    The Sound Of The 20s
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 38179 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Bloch,  Maurice Ravel,  Jacques-Alphonse de zeegant,  Jacques-Alphonse de Zeegant  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Tarara,  Lora Vakova-Tarara
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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