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
Enescu: Piano Trio, Piano Quintet / Schubert Ensemble
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10790   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Symphony No 1, Etc / Rozhdestvensky, Bbc Phil
Release Date: 11/19/1996   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9507   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Symphony No 3, Etc / Rozhdestvensky, Bbc Phil
Release Date: 07/21/1998   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9633   Number of Discs: 1
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Enescu: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2 / Schubert Ensemble
Release Date: 06/28/2011   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10672   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 206 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    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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  • 2.
    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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  • 3.
    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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  • 4.
    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: $62.49
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  • 5.
    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  ... 
    CD: $250.99
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  • 6.
    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
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  • 7.
    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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  • 8.
    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
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  • 9.
    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
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  • 10.
    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
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  • 11.
    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
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  • 12.
    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
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  • 13.
    Britten: Piano Concerto; Enescu: Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1; Borodin: Dances Of The Polovetzki Maidens; Debussy: The Engulfed Cathedral; Bauer: Sun Splen
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2419 Release Date: 06/02/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Alexander Borodin,  Claude Debussy,  Marion Bauer  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Abram
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
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  • 14.
    Works For Flute And Piano
    Label: Indesens   Catalog: 74 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Reinecke,  Sergei Prokofiev,  George Enescu,  Paul Hindemith  ... 
    Performer:  Oliver Triendl,  Daniela Koch
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  • 15.
    Enescu: Complete Works For Violin And Piano, Vol. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572692 Release Date: 04/14/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Ilya Poletaev,  Axel Strauss
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  • 16.
    Sonatas: Enescu, Prokofiev, Shostakovich
    Label: Avie   Catalog: 2302 Release Date: 03/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Alexandra Silocea,  Laura Buruiana
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  • 17.
    Enescu: Symphonie Concertante; Symphony No. 1 / Mork, Lintu, Tampere Philharmonic
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1198 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Truls Otterbech Mork
    Conductor:  Hannu Lintu
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Dark Hours: Mystic Moments Of Classical Music
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300613 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Gustav Mahler,  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Siegfried Lorenz,  Elka Mitzewa,  Cécile Ousset,  Rosemarie Lang  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmut Koch,  Otmar Suitner,  Norman Shetler,  Witold Rowicki  ... 
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  • 19.
    Echoes from an Empire / Karim Said
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 9029 Release Date: 01/27/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alban Berg,  Béla Bartók,  Leos Janácek,  Anton Webern  ... 
    Performer:  Karim Said
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  • 20.
    Caprice Viennois / Luka Kusztrich
    Label: Capriccio Records   Catalog: 5215 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Ravel,  George Enescu
    Performer:  Dora Deliyska,  Luka Kusztrich
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  • 21.
    George Enescu: Complete Works For Violin & Piano
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98035 Release Date: 09/30/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Enescu
    Performer:  Eduard Stan,  Remus Azoitei
    CD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    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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  • 23.
    Danwen Jiang Plays Enescu, Brahms & Ravel
    Label: Soundset   Catalog: 1055 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Enescu,  Johannes Brahms,  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Danwen Jiang,  Walter Cosand,  Alessandro Maffei
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  • 24.
    Hidden Treasure: Viola Masterpieces
    Label: Hungaroton   Catalog: 32721 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Henri Vieuxtemps,  George Enescu,  York Bowen  ... 
    Performer:  Rivka Golani,  Michael Hampton
    CD: $34.99
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  • 25.
    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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