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George Enescu
Bach's Vocal Works
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George Enescu and Bach

Teddy Kaufman wrote (May 12, 2005):
The 50th anniversary of George Enescu (1881 - 1955) death was last week (May 4th).

Enescu, the Romanian National Composer was according to some critics " an extraordinary musician equally famed as a pedagogue, composer, conductor, advocate of musical education – and violinist " (Peter Gutmann, 2004), "the most amazing musician since Mozart" (Pablo Casals), " one of the neglected giants of the twentieth century" (GEORGE ENESCU: HIS LIFE AND MUSIC by Noel Malcolm).
Massenet wrote to Enescu's father as follows: "Your son is an exceptional individual; his is the most interesting musical constitution there can be". " He was one of the world's finest violinists alongside Kreisler and Heifetz; a pianist whose technique was the envy of Alfred Cortot; a cellist and organist; a conductor brilliant enought to have been considered to succeed Toscanini with the New York Philharmonic" ( Patric Standford, 21st December 2003 ).

During 5 years, Enescu studied the violin in Wien with Joseph Hellmesberger and composition and harmony with Robert Fuchs. Then after, at the age of 14, he moved to Paris to study composition with Massenet and Gabriel Faure, contrapunc with Gédalge and Armand Marsieck.

Enescu was a great and a virtuous violinist who concertized in Europe and the USA. His known and outstanding pupils were Henryk Szeryng, Arthur Grumiaux, Ivry Gitlis, Christian Ferras and , Yehudi Menuhin.

He was quite prolific and composed about 300 musical pieces.

Enescu is quoated as saying:
"Perfection, which is the passion of so many people, does not interset me. What is important in art is to vibrate oneself and make others vibrate". In contradistinction, to my mind, Bach's perfection was almost mathematical and his eclectic music continues to vibrate in our hearts and souls.

Since Bach was one of Enescu's most favorite composers, I am listing his main recordings , as follows:

Missa in B minor · BWV 232
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - The- Boyd Neel String Orchestra,
Choir - The BBC Chorus
Suzanne Danco - soprano
Kathleen Ferrier - contralto
Peter Pears - tenor
Bruce Boyce - baritone
Norman Walker - bass
Recording : July 17th, 1951
CD : BBC "Legends" BBCL 40087 - [Origine : Bande radio BBC]
Duration: 132'17

George Murnu comments (1999) are as follows:
"The official unlocking of the BBC sound archives bought to life a string of legendary recordings, none better than the present one. Enescu had a special affinity for Bach and indeed if one searches the catalogue of recordings that Enescu left us, Bach appears more often than any composer including Enescu himself. 1951, the year in which the recording was made, was the dawn of period instruments movements and shortly such esteemed groups as Concentus Musicus were about to come to life. Though the present recording is a modern instruments one, it uses a smaller orchestra and chorus than was the norm at that time and the tempi are livelier. Enescu was already interested in authenticity and in fact once had an argument with Pablo Casals about the phrasing of a passage from a Bach Partita. Certainly such details are important and those of you who prefer *only* period instruments should perhaps stay away from this recording. But anyone else should rush to hear it. The soloists are
wonderful: Danco, Ferrier, and Pears are in their splendid prime, Bruce Boyce sings "Et in Spiritum Sanctum" almost pathetically, putting meaning in every single word, and Norman Walker, who is not listed in the booklet, gives a fine reading of "Quoniam". Enescu's conducting is the stuff dreams are made of: he clearly loves the music and if today's listener may be shocked by the choice of tempi - which as I have said, are livelier than what was the norm at that time - as well as by the forward choral sound, the phrasing and warmth will keep one longing for more once the recording is finished. Just listen to these warm strings and oboes or to the delicate flutes! I have never heard the Boyd Neel Orchestra sounding better. One should not also forget the contributions of the instrumental soloists, notably George Malcolm at the continuo harpsichord.
"The weak part about the recording is the sound which is often muddy, no more than in "Quoniam" where the horn played by Dougls Moore is barely audible, though often better than that. Also the balances are a problem, notably the dynamics of the trumpets and drums...".
Additional brief comments on this net (April, 2004).

Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin
Recorded in 1948-1949 , New York, originally released by Don Gabor.
Label: Continental CLP 104/5/6, 2-CD set: CCD104
Olympic Records (8117/3) , released in 1974 (3 Lp)
CD: Philips "Legendary Classics" 422 298-2 (p 1989)
Istituto Discografico Italiano IDIS 328/29

George Mircea commented were as follows:
"The great George Enescu has recorded late in his career these works, which he played throughout his life. The popularity of the works today are in no small part due his contribution. Indeed, in this recording one can almost hear Enescu's sould vibrating. The playing has a force an involvement which simply has no equal among any other recordings old or new. Should Enescu have recorded the pieces some 10-15 years earlier, these would have been far and away the best ever. As is, being at the end of his career and suffering from arthritis and other illnesses that would eventually end his life, the playing is less secure than it once was. One can almost hear the pain that Enescu is suffering when touching, I would even say caressing the violin, yet this adds to the emotional impact. And his supreme musicianship is intact and the insights he brings to the works makes the recording a must for anybody seriously interested in Bach. Even if Enescu's playing is not what it once was, this set remains one of the greatest ever and I wholeheartedly and urgently recommend it to anybody."

Concerto for violin # 1- BWV 1041
G.Enesco- conductor
Orchestra - The symphonic Orchestra of Paris
Violin - Yehudi Menuhin
Recorded - Paris, February 21st, 1936
CD : Emi " Références" 7 61018 2
Lys LYS 434/37 (p 1998)
Naxos "Historical" 8.110965 (+ 2 Concerto, Double Concerto)
LP : Emi "Les Gravures Illustres" COLH 77
Emi 7078 / Emi RLS 718 /
Emi "Studio" 53 1430701 M
Emi "Références" C 051-43070 - 78
HMV DB 2911/2 (p 1937)
Victor 14370/1 - Matrix : 2LA 915-8

Concerto for violin # 2 · BWV 1042
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - The Symphonic Orchestra of Paris
Violin - Yehudi Menuhin
Recorded - Paris, June 21st, 1933
CD : Emi 7 61018 2
Lys LYS 434/37 (p 1998)
Naxos "Historical" 8.110965 (+ 1er Concerto, Double Concerto, Bach)
LP : HMV DB 2003/5 (p 1934) / ED 684/6
Victor 8367/9 / Victor Album M 221
Emi "Les Gravures Illustres" COLH 77
Emi "Studio" 53 1430701 M
Emi " Références" C 051-43070

Concerto for flute, violin & Keyboard · BWV 1044
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Flute - Jean-Pierre Rampal
Violin - Christian Ferras
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
LP : Decca FAT 133530

Brandenburg Concerto # 2 · BWV 1047
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - The Philarmonic Orchestra, Bucarest
Recorded - Bucarest, circa 1940/44
Origine : Radio Romania (matrix 78t)

Brandenburg Concerto # 5 · BWV 1050
G.Enescu- conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Flute - Jean-Pierre Rampal
Violin - Christian Ferras
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
Recorded - Paris, circa 1950
CD ; LP : Decca FAT 133530 (p 1954)

Piano Concerto # 1 · BWV 1052
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
Recorded - Paris, circa 1950
CD ;LP : Decca FAT 133053 (p 1953 + Concerto # 5)
BHP 904

Piano Concerto # 2 · BWV 1053
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris Céliny
Piano - Chailley-Richez
CD ; LP : Decca FAT 133050 (+ Concerto # 7)
BHP 904

Piano Concerto# 3 · BWV 1054
G.Enescu- conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
Recorded - Paris, circa 1953
CD ; LP : Decca FAT 133119 (p 1954 + Concerto for 2 pianos # 3)
BHP 904

Piano Concerto # 4 · BWV 1055
G.Enesco - conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
CD : - LP : Decca FAT 133068 (+ Concerto # 6)
BHP 905

Piano Concerto # 5 · BWV 1056
G.Enesco- conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
CD : - LP : Decca FAT 133053 (+ Concerto # 1)
BHP 905

Piano Concerto # 6 · BWV 1057
G.Enesco - conductor
Orchestra - L'Association des Concerts de Chambre de Paris
Piano - Céliny Chailley-Richez
LP : Decca FAT 133068 (+Concerto n° 4)

The Piano Concertos conducted by Georges ENESCU (4 CDs )
Details : www.baroquecds.com/9047Web.html
Violin Concerto # 2 · BWV 1042
Violin - G. Enescu
John Kuypers - conductor
Orchestra - The University of Illinois Orchestra
Recorded - The Concert Smith Music Hall, February 16th, 1949
CD: Biddulph LAB 108 (+ Concerto for violin, Beethoven, Fugue, Bach)

Concerto for 2 violins · BWV 1043
Violins - Enescu, Menuhin
Pierre Monteux - conductor
Orchestra - The Symphonic Orchestra of Paris
Recorded - Paris, Salle Gaveau, June 4th, 1932
CD : Emi "Références" 7 61018 2 / 5 67201 2
Lys "Monteux vol. 2" LYS-374
Avid 590 ; Naxos "Historical" 8.110965 (+ 1st & 2nd Concertos, Bach)
LYS 434/37 (p 1998) / Edition Modern ED MN 3001
Music Memoria 30322 (p 1990)
LP : Victor LCT 1120 / LVT 1006 ;
Emi "Les Gravures Illustres" COLH 77 ; FJLP 5018 ;HLM 7078 ; RLS 718
Emi "Studio" 531430701 ; Emi "Références" C 051-43070
Melodiya M10 42633 004 - 78t : HMV DB 1718/9 (p 1933)
Victor 7732/3 / 11-18601/2 / 11-8603/4 (+ Album M 932) - Matrix : 2L370-3

Sonata for solo violin # 1 en , extract : Fugue · BWV 1001
Recorded - February 16th, 1949
CD: Biddulph LAB 108 (+ Concerto for violin # 2, Bach, + Concerto for violin, Beethoven)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for your attention,

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 12, 2005):
One of each (was George Enescu and Bach)

Teddy Kaufman wrote:
< Since Bach was one of Enescu's most favorite composers, I am listing his main recordings , as follows:

Missa in B minor ·
BWV 232
G.Enescu - conductor
Orchestra - The- Boyd Neel String Orchestra,
Choir - The BBC Chorus
Suzanne Danco - soprano
Kathleen Ferrier - contralto
Peter Pears - tenor
Bruce Boyce - baritone
Norman Walker - bass
Recording : July 17th, 1951
CD : BBC "Legends" BBCL 40087 - [Origine : Bande radio BBC]
Duration : 132'17 >
Finally Teddy and I agree on something at least partially.

If I had to have only one H-Moll Messe (BWV 232) recording, this would without doubt be my choice. When I acquired this (for Ferrier) a year or two ago, I couldn't believe how superb it was totally. I had no pre-conceived notions on Enescu. Then however an e-friend who is mad about Enescu sent me a number of Enescu compositions on CD-Rs. I did not respond so much to Enescu's own music but I did not give them enough time and attention. There is only so much listening time and generally if something doesn't "kill" me the first time, I don't return. His opera Oedipe, which I had previously acquired on my friend's recommendation, doesn't do anything at all for me at all. However back to Bach, if I had to choose one of each of the three great works, I know my choices: Enescu for the Messe (BWV 232), Gillesberger for the Johannes (BWV 245), and Scherchen for the Matthäus (BWV 244).

 

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Last update: ýSeptember 12, 2013 ý17:50:02