George Enescu

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George Enescu (1881 – 1955) “was one of the towering musical figures of the twentieth century, yet […] his work remains largely unknown, and his lasting importance mostly unrecognised, outside his native Romania. To an extent this is because he was a genuine musical renaissance man: virtuoso violinist of worldwide fame, pianist, conductor, teacher and composer.” (Evan Dickerson). But „he belongs firmly to the great creative artists of the twentieth century. […] Some, like Janáček, Sibelius, Szymanowski, Mahler even, took a while to enter the public consciousness and Enescu’s time really has yet to come. This is just the beginning.” (Cristian Mandeal).

“The famous Romanian Rhapsodies were composed between 1901-1902 (at only 20-21 years!) in Paris, premiered on February 23, 1903, in a concert conducted by George Enescu and Eduard Wachmann at the Romanian Athenaeum, and were published in 1904 by Parisian music publisher Enoch. Melodic base constituent of these two compositions, very little known, is a series of Wallachian urban folk songs from the nineteenth century skillfully played and popularized by great lauteri, and peasant songs from Moldova that we find in the second Rhapsody.” (Sergiu Sora)

“If the first Rhapsody, by the exuberance of her dance rhythms, the brightness of her orchestral coloring is clearly a musical image of a popular feast, the second Rhapsody appears as a historical fresco of our troubled past.” (Zeno Vancea).

“Enescu was born in Liveni, a small town in the Moldavian region of northern Romania in 1881, two years before Wagner’s death. At the age of seven he entered the Vienna Conservatoire, to study the violin; only the second time the Conservatoire accepted a pupil under the age of ten. Whilst in Vienna he met Brahms, whose style heavily influenced early compositions. By his early twenties he was in Paris at the Conservatoire there, and already a prolific composer. His peers in the composition class of Fauré included Ravel and Florent Schmitt. Other tutors included Gédalge, for fugue and counterpoint, whose influence Enescu was to acknowledge as key to his development. Stories abound as to his prodigious musical gifts – not least his memory – that enabled him to recall by heart most of the major works of Bach, Beethoven and Wagner, to name but three. One feels that Casals very much had a point when he said of Enescu, ‘He is the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart’. High praise indeed.” (Evan Dickerson)

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„George Enescu (1881 – 1955) a fost unul dintre cei mai mari muzicieni ai secolului XX, dar saizeci de ani dupa moartea sa, opera acestuia ramane in cea mai mare parte necunoscuta, iar importanta sa in mare masura nerecunoscuta in afara Romaniei natale. In parte, acest lucru se datoreaza faptului ca Enescu a fost un adevarat muzician renascentist: violonist virtuoz cu faima mondiala, pianist, dirijor, profesor si compozitor.” (Evan Dickerson). Dar „el este categoric unul dintre marii artisti ai secolului XX. Pentru unii, cum ar fi Janacek, Sibelius, Szymanowski, Mahler chiar, a durat ceva pana au intrat in constiinta publica, iar timpul lui Enescu inca n-a venit cu adevarat. Acesta este doar inceputul.” (Cristian Mandeal).

„Celebrele Rapsodii Romane au fost compuse in perioada 1901-1902 (la numai 20-21 ani!) la Paris, premiera a avut loc in data de 23 februarie 1903, intr-un concert dirijat de compozitor si Eduard Wachmann la Ateneul Roman, si au fost publicate in 1904 la editura muzicala pariziana Enoch. Fondul melodic constituent al acestor doua compozitii, despre care se stie foarte putin, reprezinta o serie de melodii populare urbane muntenesti din secolul al XIX-lea cantate cu multa maiestrie si popularizate de marii lautari contemporani cu compozitorul nostru, dar si melodii taranesti din Moldova, pe care le gasim in a doua rapsodie.” (Sergiu Sora)

„Daca Rapsodia I, prin exuberanta ritmurilor ei de dans, prin stralucirea coloritului ei orchestral, este in mod clar o imagine muzicala a unei petreceri populare, cea de-a doua Rapsodie ni se infătiseaza ca o fresca istorica din trecutul nostru zbuciumat.” (Zeno Vancea)

“Enescu s-a născut in Liveni, un orasel din nordul Moldovei in 1881, cu doi ani inainte de moartea lui Wagner. La sapte ani a fost admis la Conservatorul din Viena, pentru a studia vioara; doar a doua oara cand Conservatorul accepta un copil sub varsta de 10 ani. In perioada petrecuta la Viena il intalneste pe Brahms, al carui stil ii influenteaza masiv primele compozitii. La douazeci de ani era la Conservatorul din Paris, si era deja un compozitor prolific. Colegii sai la clasa de compozitie a lui Fauré i-au inclus pe Ravel si Florent Schmitt. Un alt profesor i-a fost Gédalge, pentru fuga si contrapunct, a carui influenta Enescu avea sa o recunoasca drept cheia dezvoltarii sale ulterioare. Abunda povesti despre bogata sa inzestrare muzicala – nu in ultimul rand memoria – care i-au permis sa-si aminteasca majoritatea celor mai importante lucrari ale lui Bach, Beethoven si Wagner, pentru a numi doar trei. Se poate spune ca a avut dreptate Casals cand a afirmat despre Enescu, «El este cel mai mare fenomen muzical de după Mozart». Intr-adevăr, o mare lauda.” (Evan Dickerson)