A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

ENESCU, George (1881-1955)

COMPLETE PIANO WORKS (3-CD BOXED SET)


  • Josu de Solaun, piano

This set of George Enescu’s solo piano music traces a fascinating musical arc from his precocious years in Vienna and Paris, where he absorbed Brahmsian and French late-Romantic influences, notably in the Impromptus, to the brilliantly mercurial Piano Sonata No. 3. Whether in the Pièces impromptues, eloquent character pieces, or in the oceanic Piano Sonata No. 1, Enescu remains, in Pablo Casals’ words, “the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart”, his unique musical language embracing Bach as well as the abiding vitality, and melancholy, of his native Romanian folk music.

Visit the ALBUM MINI-SITE

Watch video trailer

Tracklist

Disc 1
1
Nocturne in D-Flat Major (1907) (00:19:07)
 
Pièces impromptues, Op. 18, "Suite No. 3" (1916) (00:25:00 )
2
I. Mélodie (00:03:15)
3
II. Voix de la steppe (00:03:20)
4
III. Mazurk mélancolique (00:05:28)
5
IV. Burlesque (00:05:34)
6
V. Appassionato (00:04:51)
7
VI. Choral (00:07:16)
8
VII. Carillon nocturne (00:06:52)
 
Piano Sonata No. 1 in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 24, No. 1 (1924) (00:25:00 )
9
I. Allegro molto moderato e grave (00:11:05)
10
II. Presto vivace (00:04:40)
11
III. Andante molto espressivo (00:07:38)
Disc 2
 
Suite No. 2 in D Major, Op. 10 (1903) (00:25:00 )
1
I. Toccata: Majestueusement, mais pas trop lent (00:04:25)
2
II. Sarabande: Noblement (00:08:17)
3
III. Pavane: Lentement berce (00:06:26)
4
IV. Bouree: Vivement (00:06:04)
 
Prélude and Fugue (1903) (00:15:10 )
5
Prélude (00:08:26)
6
Fugue (00:05:32)
 
Piano Sonata No. 3 in D Major, Op. 24, No. 3 (1935) (00:17:00 )
7
I. Vivace con brio (00:06:11)
8
II. Andantino cantabile (00:10:44)
9
III. Allegro con spirito (00:08:50)
10
Pièce sur le nom de Fauré (1922) (00:02:17)
Disc 3
1
Scherzo (1896) * (00:04:00)
2
Ballade for Piano (1894) * (00:07:49)
 
Prélude et Scherzo () (00:10:00 )
3
Prélude (00:04:10)
4
Scherzo (00:06:01)
5
Barcarolle in B-Flat Major (1897) (00:04:28)
6
La Fileuse in D Major (1897) (00:05:02)
7
Regrets in G-Flat Major (1898) (00:03:23)
 
Suite No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 3, "Dans le style ancien" (1897) (00:20:00 )
8
I. Prélude: Grave (00:03:29)
9
II. Fugue: Allegro moderato (00:04:02)
10
III. Adagio (00:08:23)
11
IV. Finale: Presto (00:03:50)
12
Impromptu in A-Flat Major (1898) (00:04:21)
13
Impromptu in C Major (1900) (00:06:10)
14
Modérément (1898) * (00:02:22)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 03:33:48

The Artist

Pianist Josu De Solaun is the First Prize winner of the XIII George Enescu International Piano Competition in Bucharest (previous winners include the legendary pianists Radu Lupu and Elisabeth Leonskaja) and the XV José Iturbi International Piano Competition. He has been invited to perform in distinguished concert series throughout the world, having made notable appearances in Bucharest (Romanian Athenaeum), St Petersburg (Mariinsky Theatre), Washington DC (Kennedy Center), New York (Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera), London (Southbank Centre), Paris (Salle Cortot), Mexico City (Sala Silvestre Revueltas), and all major cities of Spain.

www.josudesolaun.com

The Composer

The greatest of Romanian musicians, George Enescu was equally remarkable as a violinist and as a composer. He contributed significantly to the development of music in his own country, although much of his activity centred on Paris, where he was a pupil of Marsick and for composition of Fauré and Massenet. His violin pupils include Grumiaux, Ferras, Gitlis and Menuhin.

Despite early success, notably the two Romanian Rhapsodies [Naxos 8.550327], his work found real appreciation only among a small number of musicians and admirers. Prolific in his youth, during which he pursued studies first in Vienna then in Paris, the demands of performance and administration, not to mention upheaval in his personal life and in his beloved Romania, slowed his creativity so that he was able to complete only a handful of major compositions after the First World War. Yet the sheer quality of these works, which amalgamate his understanding of the classical masters with the achievement of the French and German romanticists, while transcending stereotypical notions of radical and conservative, has seen a gradual resurgence of interest over the past three decades.

Chamber music

Chamber music was a prominent feature of Enescu’s music from his earliest years. Along with his two cello sonatas [Naxos 8.570582], there are four extant violin sonatas, two string quartets [Naxos 8.554721], two piano quartets [the second on Naxos 8.557159], a piano quintet [Naxos 8.557159], piano trio, string octet, and wind decatet [Naxos 8.554173], as well as shorter pieces for various combinations.

Orchestral Music

Although much that he wrote may be of greater musical significance, Enescu's most popular composition is the Romanian Rhapsody No. 1.

Reviews

Helsingin Sanomat

“enjoyable surprises on every turn” – Helsingin Sanomat

“de Solaun plays it with a nice, rich, deep-in-the-keys touch that literally gets to the bottom of the music both technically and emotionally” – The Art Music Lounge