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George Enescu (Enesco)

George Enescu

(1881 - 1955)

George Enescu (known in France as Georges Enesco; August 19, 1881 - May 4, 1955) was a Romanian composer, violinist, conductor and pedagogue. He displayed musical talent in many areas at a very young age, composing his first piece at age five. Enescu was admitted to the Vienna Conservatory at age seven, and graduated at age twelve. While still in Vienna, he began is concert career with the concertos of Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, as well as the works of Sarasate. The following year he traveled to Paris to study composition with Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré.

Heavily influenced by Romanian folk music, his most enduring works are the two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901-2), the opera Œdipe (1936), and the suites for orchestra. He also wrote three symphonies, the symphonic poem Vox maris, and a quantity of chamber music

Enesco was also a conductor of note, leading the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris and several American orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic in 1937-8. He was one of the most influencial violin teachers counting among his pupils Yehudi Menuhin, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, and Ida Haendel.

Enescu's signature

Recommended Recordings

Oedipe (opera), Op. 23

EMI CDC754011-2
Oedipe (1921-31)/EMI CDS754011-2
Barbara Hendricks, José Van Dam, Brigitte Fassbaender, Marjana Lipovšek, Jocelyne Taillon, Nicolai Gedda, John Aler, Lawrence Foster/Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
Oedipe/Naxos 8.660163-64
Ruxandra Donose (soprano), Mihaela Ungureanu (mezzo soprano), Marjana Lipovšek (mezzo soprano), Josef Hopferwieser (tenor), Michael Roider (tenor), Davide Damiani (baritone), Yu Chen (baritone), Monte Pederson (bass baritone), Peter Köves (bass), Walter Fink (bass), Egils Silins (bass), Goran Simic (bass), Michael Gielen/Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Vienna State Opera Chorus, Vienna Boys' Choir
Oedipe/Albany Records TROY861/62
Jan Patrice Helms (soprano), Jennifer Proulx (mezzo), Ashmani Jha (mezzo), Stephanie Chigas (mezzo), Harold Gray Meers (tenor), Darren T. Anderson (tenor), Bradley Robinson (baritone), Ben Jones (baritone), Stefan Ignat (bass-baritone), Ricardo Herrera (bass), Michael York (bass), Michael York (bass), Ricardo Herrera (bass), Ian Hobson/Sinfonia da Camera, University of Illinois Chamber Singers

Core Repertoire - Start Here! Romanian Poem, Op. 1

Arte Nova ANO654250
"Romanian Poem"; Vox Maris, Voix de la nature/Arte Nova ANO654250
Cristian Mandeal/Bucharest George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir
"Romanian Poem"; Romanian Rhapsodies/Stradivari Classics SCD-6038 reissued on Marco Polo 8.223146
Iosif Conta/Romanian Radio & Television Orchestra

Core Repertoire - Start Here! Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11

RCA Living Stereo SACD 82876-67903-2
"Romanian" Rhapsody #1 w/ Liszt, Smetana & Wagner/RCA Living Stereo Hybrid Multichannel SACD 82876-67903-2
Leopold Stokowski/RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra
"Romanian" Rhapsodies; Romanian Poem/Stradivari Classics SCD-6038 reissued on Marco Polo 8.223146
Iosif Conta/Romanian Radio & Television Orchestra
"Romanian" Rhapsody #1 w/ Liszt/Mercury Living Presence 432015-2
Antál Doráti/London Symphony Orchestra
"Romanian" Rhapsody #2 w/ Brahms/Mercury Living Presence 434326-2
Antál Doráti/London Symphony Orchestra

Sonatas for Violin & Piano #1 Op. 2, #2 Op. 6 and #3 Op. 25

Dynamic CDS41
Violin Sonatas #1-3/Dynamic CDS41
Mariana Sirbu (violin), Mihail Sarbu (piano)
Violin Sonatas #2, #3 and "Torso" Sonata/Hyperion CDA66484
Adelina Oprean (violin), Justin Oprean (piano)
Violin Sonatas #1-3/Hungaroton HCD31778
Vilmos Szabady (violin), Márta Gulyás (piano)