George Enescu: Piano Sonata No. 1; Suite No. 2; Choral & Carillon Nocturne

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The rediscovery of Eastern European repertoires from the first half of the 20th century continues to yield treasures, and here is a new set. Romanian composer George Enescu remains mostly known for his "Romanian Rhapsodies 2 for orchestra," but between the world wars he was known, respected, and followed all over Europe, by Ravel among others. Enescu's little-heard piano music has been recorded in toto by Luiza Borac, but those wanting a single disc at the attractive Naxos price would do well to pick up this selection of diverse works recorded by the young Romanian American Matei Varga. Enescu's models were the French impressionists, but his voice is unique, with a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The rediscovery of Eastern European repertoires from the first half of the 20th century continues to yield treasures, and here is a new set. Romanian composer George Enescu remains mostly known for his "Romanian Rhapsodies 2 for orchestra," but between the world wars he was known, respected, and followed all over Europe, by Ravel among others. Enescu's little-heard piano music has been recorded in toto by Luiza Borac, but those wanting a single disc at the attractive Naxos price would do well to pick up this selection of diverse works recorded by the young Romanian American Matei Varga. Enescu's models were the French impressionists, but his voice is unique, with a dedication to sheer knotty complexity that was alien to French music. The Choral from the "Pièces Impromptues, Op. 18," makes a good place to start: it develops a large structure in an unbroken arc from the chorale-like material stated at the beginning. The same sense of the long line is present in the first movement of the "Piano Sonata No. 1, Op. 24/1," composed in 1924; its tempo indication, Allegro molto moderato e grave, gives an idea of its constantly shifting harmonies and tempi. It's an extraordinary piece that copies no school, constantly surprises the listener, and yet seems to hang ineluctably together. The "Suite No. 2 in D major, Op. 10," partakes of the neo-Baroque strain present in the music of Debussy and Ravel, but again is entirely different in effect, with dense harmonic complications enveloping the stately Sarabande and Pavane. The folk strain in Enescu's music is only hinted at in the sonata's last two movements, but it is well known from elsewhere, and this fine recording, with a pianist fully on top of the rather punishing and never showy virtuosity required by Enescu's music, is likely to whet the listener's attention for more of it. With top-notch engineering from New York's Patrych Sound Studios, this is a standout among Naxos' discs seeking the revival of lost national repertories.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/26/2010
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313212071
  • Catalog Number: 8572120
  • Sales rank: 221,417

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Piano Sonata No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 24/1 - George Enescu & G. Paolo Zeccara (24:50)
  2. 2 Suite for piano No. 3 ("Pièces impromptues"), Op. 18: 6. Choral: Moderato, non troppo lento - George Enescu & G. Paolo Zeccara (7:07)
  3. 3 Suite for piano No. 3 ("Pièces impromptues"), Op. 18: 7. Carillon nocturne: L'istesso tempo (Moderato, n - George Enescu & G. Paolo Zeccara (6:33)
  4. 6–9 Suite for piano No. 2 in D major, Op. 10 - George Enescu & G. Paolo Zeccara (27:23)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Matei Varga Primary Artist
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