Since winning the Silver Medal and the Krystian Zimerman Sonata award at the 2015 Chopin Piano Competition, Montreal and Quebec at large have been gaga – for good reason – over Charles Richard-Hamelin. Recorded live in concert this past May at Salle Raoul-Jobin of the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City, this album may begin conservatively with Beethoven’s Two Rondos for Piano, Op. 51, but takes a turn with George Enescu’s Second Suite, Op. 10. With the Enescu, Richard-Hamelin digresses from clinical Classicism into the Romanian composer’s grandiose late-Romantic chromaticism. Even in a live recording, Richard-Hamelin shows not only acute elegance and poise, but extreme precision and a heightened emotional sensibility.
The viola works on this recording fuse lyricism with virtuosity, and sometimes invoke folkloric moments as well as more rhapsodic flights. Martinů’s 1955 Sonata plays on elements of folk music and rhapsody, as well as a toccata-like intensity and a pervasive feeling of nostalgia. Kodály’s Adagio is an early work, highly expressive and richly romantic, whilst his compatriot Dohnányi wrote a Sonata of mature distinction, employing variations and transformed themes to magical effect. Joachim, upholder of the German violin school, also composed, and in his Hebrew Melodies crafts great pathos, whilst Enescu’s Concertstück fuses the lyrical with the dashing, as befits a competition test piece.
This newest release from BR KLASSIK explores the genre of the 19th and 20th century Rhapsody, featuring works from masterful composers Emmanuel Chabrier, George Gershwin, George Enesecu, Maurice Ravel, and Franz Liszt. The concert-like atmosphere of this recording makes this a truly unique release, as these works were recorded live in Munich as recently as October 2015. The five rhapsodies featured here come from different regions and the composers unique styles can be heard in each of their works. Chabriers Espana is centered around Iberian and folk music which was very popular at the time. Liszts Hungarian Rhapsody contrasts this work with its use of Hungarian folk melodies. The ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue from George Gershwin throws Americana into the mix with its blues roots. Mariss Jansons and the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks never fails to please with their brilliant interpretations and performance quality. World-renowned Russian pianist Denis Matusev is brilliant as the Rhapsody in Blue soloist.
The premiere of Enescu's Poème roumain, Op. 1, was the first of many triumphs for the 16-year-old composer, who had been studying in Paris with Massenet and Fauré since 1890. Edouard Colonne conducted the first performance at Théâtre du Chatelet, and the work's Romantic evocation of the Romanian national character caught the imagination of the sophisticated Parisian audience to the extent that Enescu would thereafter always be well received in that hard-to-please city…..
A monumental and distinctly Brahmsian work, Enescu's Third Symphony is an emotionally intense war symphony of grandiose dimension. Scored for orchestra and chorus, it calls for large forces to be deployed in execution of the composer's vision – 12 double basses, for example, including two soli. It anticipates Oedipe in its philosophical approach and indeed in some of its thematic material which finds its way into Enescu's magnum opus…..Tim Mahon @ AllMusic.com
Enescu's symphony No. 2 was written during years when he was very busy as a leading concert violinist of his times. He was always a careful and slow worker, so like many of his major compositions this symphony took several years to complete. It was first performed in Bucharest on March 28, 1915, an event that could not make a large impression in Western Europe, which was then consumed in World War I. The A major tonality …….Joseph Stevenson @ AllMusic.com
George Enescu was an extraordinarily gifted and well-rounded musician: a virtuoso violinist, a world-class conductor, an outstanding pianist, cellist, and organist – even a fine baritone. He was hugely admired by many great musicians of his time, including the cellist and conductor Pablo Casals who described him as ‘the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart’.
In addition to being a world-class violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher, George Enescu was a well-renowned composer. In fact, his most celebrated violin pupil, Yehudi Menuhin, made the prediction that Enescu’s compositions would become ‘one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century’, and, indeed, in recent years Enescu’s works have become more widely performed.
Ondine is pleased to announce the first release of an Enescu cycle with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of its artistic director Hannu Lintu. George Enescu is Romania’s most important composer – and one of the most neglected composers of the 20th century.