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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
The Romantic Cello Concerto 1 - Dohnanyi, Enescu, Et Al
Release Date: 10/11/2005   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 67544   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Violin Sonatas / Adelina Oprean, Justin Oprean
Release Date: 07/09/2002   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55103   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: Oedipe / Hobson, Sinfonia Da Camera
Release Date: 08/22/2006   Label: Albany Records  
Catalog: 861/62   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 220 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    James Galway - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 302633 Release Date: 09/16/2014   Number of Discs: 73
    Composer:  Arthur Smith,  Various,  Traditional,  Stan Lebowsky  ... 
    Performer:  James Galway,  Sylvia,  Marisa Robles,  Phillip Moll  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Scimone,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Jörg Faerber,  Eduardo Mata  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  I Solisti Veneti,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Galway Pops Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Kristjan Jarvi Sound Project - Balkan Fever
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5395 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Traditional,  Teodossi Spassov,  Miroslav Tadic
    Performer:  Teodossi Spassov,  Miroslav Tadic,  Vlatko Stefanovski
    Conductor:  Kristjan Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Middle German Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 3.
    George Enescu: Symphony 5; Isis
    Label: Cpo   Catalog: 777823 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Marius Vlad
    Conductor:  Peter Ruzicka
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Saarbrücken Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Radio Female Chorus
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  • 4.
    Works By George Enescu & Gabriel Faure / Trio Enescu
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14309 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Gabriel Fauré
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Enescu
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  • 5.
    Ballade: Leos Janacek, George Enescu, Edvard Grieg
    Label: Navona   Catalog: 5952 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leos Janácek,  George Enescu,  Edvard Grieg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo526
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  • 6.
    The Art Of The French Flute
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 62 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy,  Charles-Marie Widor,  Francis Poulenc  ... 
    Performer:  Vincent Lucas,  Emmanuel Strosser,  Claudia Bara
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  • 7.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 8.
    Trois Selections Pour Chamber Winds
    Label: Mark Records   Catalog: 50790 Release Date: 02/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Ruth Gipps
    Conductor:  Rick Fleming
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Erie County Chamber Winds
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  • 9.
    Icon: The Early Years - Yehudi Menuhin
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 928129 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Marius Casadesus,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  George Enescu,  Hephzibah Menuhin,  Hubert Giesen  ... 
    Conductor:  George Enescu,  Pierre Monteux,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Paris Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Orchestre de Paris  ... 
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  • 10.
    Decca Sound - The Analogue Years
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001934702 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 54
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Anton Bruckner,  Arnold Schoenberg,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Pascal Rogé,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Marilyn Horne,  Luciano Pavarotti  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Sir Georg Solti,  Bernard Haitink,  Horst Stein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
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  • 11.
    Enescu: Complete Works for Cello and Piano / Radutiu, Rundberg
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98021 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Valentin Radutiu,  Per Rundberg
    CD: $29.99
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  • 12.
    Enescu: Symphony No. 3; Ouverture De Concert / Lintu, Tampere Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1197 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Enescu: Piano Trio, Piano Quintet / Schubert Ensemble
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10790 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Remus Azoitei
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schubert Ensemble
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  • 14.
    Enescu: Complete Works for Violin & Piano Vol 1 / Strauss, Poletaev
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572691 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Axel Strauss,  Ilya Poletaev
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  • 15.
    Un Gout De Renaissance
    Label: Maguelone   Catalog: 111175 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Leguerney,  Francis Poulenc,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Anne Le Bozec,  Didier Henry
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  • 16.
    Tine / Tine Thing Helseth
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 164712 Release Date: 03/12/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Ibert,  Alexander Glazunov,  George Enescu,  Edvard Hagerup  ... 
    Performer:  Tine Thing Helseth,  Kathryn Stott
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  • 17.
    A European Odyssey
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 6195 Release Date: 03/05/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Sviatlana Rynkova,  Jonathan Ostlund  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Schubert Players
    On sale! $35.98
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  • 18.
    Icon - Brigitte Fassbaender [8-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 829682 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Franz Schubert,  Hugo Wolf,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Karl Engel,  Erik Werba,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Baumgart,  Lawrence Foster,  Jeffrey Tate,  Wolfgang Eber
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Bavariae,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
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  • 19.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 20.
    Eugene Ormandy Conducts 20th Century Classics
    Label: Sony (Nax615)   Catalog: 417202 Release Date: 11/06/2012   Number of Discs: 12
    Composer:  Gustav Holst,  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  John Williams,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Van Cliburn,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mendelssohn Club Chorus Philadelphia,  Rutgers University Chorus
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    On sale! $34.98
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  • 21.
    Melodie Francaise [6-CD Set]
    Label: Naive   Catalog: 5311 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Reynaldo Hahn,  Ernest Chausson,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Blumenthal,  Marie-Nicole Lemieux,  Noel Lee,  Bernard Kruysen  ... 
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  • 22.
    The Unknown Enescu Vol 1 - Music for Violin
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 47 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sherban Lupu,  George Enescu
    Performer:  Sherban Lupu,  Ian Hobson,  Marin Cazacu,  Ilinca Dumitrescu  ... 
    Conductor:  Sherban Lupu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Enescu Ensemble of the University of Illinois
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  • 23.
    Le Temps Retrouve: Debussy, Faure, Gaubert, Enescu, Koechlin / Veronika Iltchenko, Toon Fret
    Label: Ems   Catalog: 5637998172 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Philippe Gaubert,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Toon Fret,  Veronika Iltchenko
    CD: $24.99
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  • 24.
    Musique De Chambre
    Label: Disques A Tempo   Catalog: 5637995910 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alessandro Stradella,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Jacques Castérède,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Louise-Andrée Baril,  Roger-Luc Chayer,  Veronique Lucignano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quintette National
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Leopold Stokowski - The Stereo Collection 1954-1975
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 1916852 Release Date: 08/21/2012   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Margaret Price,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Anna Moffo,  Martina Arroyo  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  New Symphony Orchestra,  Norman Luboff Choir  ... 
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