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Enescu: Complete Works for Violin & Piano Vol 1 / Azoite

Album Summary

>Enescu, George [Composer] : Impressions d'enfance, for violin & piano in D major, Op. 28
>Enescu, George [Composer] : Sonata for violin & piano in A minor
>Enescu, George [Composer] : Sonata for violin & piano no 2 in F minor, Op. 6
Performers Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"What I find most interesting in this volume is the Impressions of Childhood from 1940. It is a set of character pieces that illustrate odd memories from Enesco's childhood like wind in the chimney, a storm outside at night, and moonlight through the windows. In one piece called 'The Bird in the Cage and the Cuckoo on the Wall', the violin plays bird songs against the calm and even walking motion of the piano. Suddenly the calm is interrupted by both instruments making the sound of a cuckoo clock. Enesco's bird songs are absolutely accurate: while I was listening on a lovely spring morning, the birds outside my window were singing exactly the same songs. All the playing is excellent." -ARG

International Record Review
For an (almost) complete survey, Azoitei and Stan are unmatched for their sensitivity and insight...Readers should not hesitate in adding this masterly music to their collection.

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Like Béla Bartók, Romanian composer-violinist- pianist George Enescu wrote violin music from a fairly early age, even earlier in fact: both the Ballade and Tarantella that feature on the second disc of this admirable survey are the products of a prodigiously gifted 14-year-old.

Both are world premiere recordings, forming part of a sequence of unusual short pieces that includes a racy Hora Unirei from 1917 (like an offbeat waltz), a playful Impromptu concertant (1903) and a brief but harmonically pungent Andante malinconico that Enescu wrote for a sight-reading competition just four years before he died. All five miniatures showcase the refined but vibrant performing style of Remus Azoitei, a distinctive player whose sound world echoes Enescu's own.

Azoitei's pianist Eduard Stan is memorably supple in terms of both rhythm and touch, vital attributes in the last and greatest of the violin works, the Third Sonata, with its tricky transitions, complex but spirited dance sequences and fiery climaxes, especially in the finale. Azoitei and Stan combine temperament, mastery of idiom and executive elegance in a very special way. They shape the music beautifully, so that what in some hands sounds like mere extended improvisation (a desirable attribute admittedly) also parades discernable form.

The five larger works all come off exceptionally well. Regarding the folky and atmospheric Impressions d'enfance Azoitei gives the impression of controlled rhapsodising, and so does his pianist. The earliest larger-scale work here is the First Sonata, another teenage essay, confident and fitfully memorable though predictably derivative, with Schumann coming most often to mind. Carl Flesch described the Second Sonata (1899) as 'one of the most important works of all sonata literature, whose neglect is totally unjustifiable'.

If the repertoire appeals, no need to look any further: this is a first-rate collection, although Lupu is also worth searching out, maybe as a supplementary purchase, especially for that orchestral Caprice roumain.



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Works Details

>Enescu, George [Composer] : Impressions d'enfance, for violin & piano in D major, Op. 28
  • Performers: Remus Azoitei (Violin); Eduard Stan (Piano)
  • Notes: Radio Bremen, Bremen, Germany (12/06/2005-12/09/2005)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 04/10/1940

>Enescu, George [Composer] : Sonata for violin & piano in A minor
  • Performers: Remus Azoitei (Violin); Eduard Stan (Piano)
  • Notes: Radio Bremen, Bremen, Germany (12/06/2005-12/09/2005)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 10/22/1895

>Enescu, George [Composer] : Sonata for violin & piano no 2 in F minor, Op. 6
  • Performers: Remus Azoitei (Violin); Eduard Stan (Piano)
  • Notes: Radio Bremen, Bremen, Germany (12/06/2005-12/09/2005)
  • Running Time: 21 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 04/20/1899