The Enescu Mystery

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dulcinea
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The Enescu Mystery

Post by dulcinea » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:50 am

In his country GE is regarded as a national hero, but here in the USA Enescu suffers the abject humiliation of being known only for two early pieces that he himself did not regard as his best or most typical work.
Can somebody here talk knowledgeably about GE's work and its true value? WIKI's LIST OF SYMPHONY COMPOSERS says that Enescu WROTE 3 ACKNOWLEDGED AND COMPLETE SYMPHONIES, 4 EARLIER ONES AND 2 LATER ONES--THE LAST 2 COMPLETED BY PASCUAL BENTOIU--AS WELL AS A CHAMBER SYMPHONY. TEN symphonies!--that is mighty impressive.
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John F
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by John F » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:14 pm

All three of Enescu's completed and acknowledged symphonies are on YouTube if you'd like to hear them:







These are early works too, from about the time of the Romanian Rhapsodies and a few years later. Most of his music dates from the First World War and earlier, though he lived until 1955. I haven't heard the symphonies and don't have time to just now, but I do know some of his chamber music and the opera "Oedipe," which has received no fewer than three complete recordings. As for the "true value" of Enescu's music, to my ears it's good but not great, but maybe I'm not knowledgeable enough.

Leif Segerstam, best known as a conductor, has composed more than 250 symphonies at last count. Does that make him 50 times more impressive than Enescu? :wink:
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jbuck919
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:20 pm

There are any number of composers who are national heroes in their native countries because they are possibly the best the country has to offer and have earned some kind of international reputation. Some of them are even both famous and very good. :wink:

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dulcinea
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by dulcinea » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:30 pm

jbuck919 wrote:There are any number of composers who are national heroes in their native countries because they are possibly the best the country has to offer and have earned some kind of international reputation. Some of them are even both famous and very good. :wink:
Are you suggesting that Romania is so desperate for musical fame that it granted the status of national hero to a mediocrity unworthy of any fame at all? Is that also your opinion of Stephen Collins Foster, the FATHER OF AMERICAN MUSIC?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:39 pm

dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:There are any number of composers who are national heroes in their native countries because they are possibly the best the country has to offer and have earned some kind of international reputation. Some of them are even both famous and very good. :wink:
Are you suggesting that Romania is so desperate for musical fame that it granted the status of national hero to a mediocrity unworthy of any fame at all? Is that also your opinion of Stephen Collins Foster, the FATHER OF AMERICAN MUSIC?
Far, far away.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

dulcinea
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by dulcinea » Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:56 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:There are any number of composers who are national heroes in their native countries because they are possibly the best the country has to offer and have earned some kind of international reputation. Some of them are even both famous and very good. :wink:
Are you suggesting that Romania is so desperate for musical fame that it granted the status of national hero to a mediocrity unworthy of any fame at all? Is that also your opinion of Stephen Collins Foster, the FATHER OF AMERICAN MUSIC?
Far, far away.
Thanks for the clarification.
You should remember that irony and sarcasm are lost on Asperger's people. A psychologist who determined that I have dyscalculia said in his report that I interpret all statements LITERALLY and have no idea about ABSTRACT thought or reasoning.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:52 pm

dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:There are any number of composers who are national heroes in their native countries because they are possibly the best the country has to offer and have earned some kind of international reputation. Some of them are even both famous and very good. :wink:
Are you suggesting that Romania is so desperate for musical fame that it granted the status of national hero to a mediocrity unworthy of any fame at all? Is that also your opinion of Stephen Collins Foster, the FATHER OF AMERICAN MUSIC?
Far, far away.
Thanks for the clarification.
You should remember that irony and sarcasm are lost on Asperger's people.
Evidently.
A psychologist who determined that I have dyscalculia....
At least you should not have to worry about kidney stones (hint: check the etymology of "calculation"). :wink: Yes, I know that I am still kidding you, but after all these years, I have to think that even though you may not always get it, at some level you appreciate it. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by John F » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:09 am

I've sampled the three Enescu symphonies on YouTube, and the first impression is of Richard Strauss in "Heldenleben" mode. Nothing forbidding about the music, nothing particularly original or Romanian either. But I haven't listened to much of it.
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by johnQpublic » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:47 am

No, not a lot of "Roumanian" flavor in his music but it is really tasty stuff. I have enjoyed his larger chamber music pieces. Tonal but with lots of chromaticism that sometimes moves in surprising ways. He really should be better known.
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josé echenique
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by josé echenique » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:08 am

About 10 years ago I attended a concert performance of Oedipe at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées and enjoyed very much, as I have the EMI recording for over 2 decades now.
I also like the symphonies. Are they great music? Maybe not if you compare them with the Bruckner 8 or the Schubert 9, but I think they are well made works, well argued and throughly enjoyable.

dulcinea
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by dulcinea » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:20 pm

John F wrote:I've sampled the three Enescu symphonies on YouTube, and the first impression is of Richard Strauss in "Heldenleben" mode. Nothing forbidding about the music, nothing particularly original or Romanian either.
Possibly the principal reason why Enescu ended up resenting the popularity of the Rhapsodies was that they misled the public into thinking that he was a folklorist like Barto'k and Koda'ly, something that was never his intention.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by RebLem » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Stephen Foster the founder of American music? An important figure, yes. Founder, hardly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Billings
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John F
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by John F » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:49 pm

dulcinea wrote:Possibly the principal reason why Enescu ended up resenting the popularity of the Rhapsodies was that they misled the public into thinking that he was a folklorist like Barto'k and Koda'ly, something that was never his intention.
Certainly he wasn't a folklore researcher. But many composers have used folk material in their classical works, without being scholars in the field, as an expression of nationalist spirit. I don't know that much about Enescu's aims, but the Wikipedia article leads off its discussion of his music by saying, "Many of Enescu's works were influenced by Romanian folk music," mentioning the 3 orchestral suites in addition to the Romanian rhapsodies.

Seems like many composers resent the popularity of what they consider their minor works. Rachmaninoff became sick of his famous prelude in C# minor, which audiences always demanded as an encore. So it wouldn't be the least surprising if Enescu, composer of symphonies and operas, resented the public's preference for his first Romanian rhapsody. But I've no doubt it earned him a pile of money in performance fees, enabling him to compose the music he wanted to, even if the public didn't necessarily want it from him.
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hangos
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by hangos » Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:57 pm

All I know about Enescu is that Yehudi Menuhin was a big fan of his
Martin

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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:28 pm

hangos wrote:All I know about Enescu is that Yehudi Menuhin was a big fan of his
Martin
Actually, he was Yehudi Menuhin's Teacher, he also taught Arthur Grumiaux, Christian Ferras and Ivry Gitlas, he Conducted Menuhin and Jacques Thibaud, and he recorded his own Violin Sonatas with Dinu Lipatti...plus...he was Alfred Cortot's Chamber Music Partner as well as forming the Enescu Quartet...oh, and he was taught by Massenet and Faure...
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by Wallingford » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:09 pm

josé echenique wrote:Maybe not if you compare them with the Bruckner 8 or the Schubert 9.
I can think of a few who'd tell you different re the former. :wink:
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Re: The Enescu Mystery

Post by Wallingford » Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:11 pm

Chalkperson wrote:
hangos wrote:All I know about Enescu is that Yehudi Menuhin was a big fan of his
Martin
Actually, he was Yehudi Menuhin's Teacher, he also taught Arthur Grumiaux, Christian Ferras and Ivry Gitlas, he Conducted Menuhin and Jacques Thibaud, and he recorded his own Violin Sonatas with Dinu Lipatti...plus...he was Alfred Cortot's Chamber Music Partner as well as forming the Enescu Quartet...oh, and he was taught by Massenet and Faure...
He did a landmark recording of all the Bach solo violin partitas.....
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
--Paul Simon

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