George Enescu - Biography


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A great Romanian composer and one of the best of the 20th century in the classical world.

  • @QueridaCachi, me alegra mucho que te haya gustado la historia y la música de este compositor y concuerdo contigo que el Minueto Triste es una melodía muy bella y como le decía a Saturnino, este tipo de música de Enescu es de gran calidad y me recuerda mucho los tríos de Schubert. Lástima que Enescu no tenga tanta publicidad. Un abrazo!
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  • Fantástico trabajo Alfredo y que maravillosa música, es algo excepcional, si pudiera memorizar todo lo que nos envías sería extraordinario, pero no se puede tener todo. Mis mas sinceras felicitaciones y muchísimas gracias por compartir con nosotros tus espléndidos trabajos. Saludos.
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  • Estupendo capítulo de tu ya extenso 'Tratado Musical'. Este artista rumano es un verdadero genio y esta una auténtica presentación.
    Las obras que acompañas las desconocía y me han parecido maravillosas, destacando el 'Nocturne et saltarello'
    Por todo, muchísimas gracias y felicidades.
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  • Un trabajo muy completo e interesante. Te felicito.
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  • Muchas gracias Alfredo for that precious, fine work !
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George Enescu - Biography

  1. 1. George Enescu Biography Romanian Rhapsody no. 1 in A major Opus 11
  2. 2. George Enescu (1881 – 1955) A great Romanian composer, conductor, pianist, violinist and professor, George Enescu goes down in history as one of the most remarkable men of culture of the 20th century; he played a prominent part as a music ambassador both in his country and worldwide. He also involved himself actively in promoting Romanian music, composers, conductors and performers internationally. The international acknowledgement and fame brought George Enescu numerous occasions to give music interpretation courses, stylistic, analysis and musical forms classes at many musical schools such as: The École Normale de Musique in Paris, École Instrumentale “Yvonne Astruc” in Paris, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, in Siena (Italy), University of Illinois (USA), The Mannes Music School in New York He taught composition classes at the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA), and at the Conservatoire Américain din Fontainbleau (France). Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Ida Haendel and Arthur Grumiaux are just some of the most known violinists who improved their performing art under the guidance of George Enescu.
  3. 3. Among the main distinctions and awards that were given to him : • • • • • • Officer and Chevalier of French Legion of Honor (1913, 1936) Honorary Member (1916) and Active Member (1933) of the Romanian Academy Correspondent Member of the Fine Arts Academy in Paris (1929) National Academy of Santa Cecilia in Rome (1931) Institute of France in Paris (1936) Arts and Sciences Academy in Prague (1937) The memory of the great Romanian musician is revived by the International Festival that bears his name, as well as by symposiums taking place in Romania and abroad and, not in the least, by the specialized writings, the exhibitions, and the concerts organized by the “George Enescu” National Museum in Bucharest. The list of his compositions includes a total of 141 works: 28 orchestral music, 12 chamber music, 28 piano, 45 vocal & choral, 5 sonatas, 8 cello & violin, one opera and 14 miscellaneous. Some of the best known Enescu’s compositions are: The two Romanian Rhapsodies Op. 11 (1901-1902), Romanian Poem Op. 1 (1897) Symphony in E flat major, Op. 13, no. 1 (1905). Aubade, Trio for violin, viola and cello (1899) Sérénade lointaine, for violin, cello and piano (1903) Nocturne and Saltarello, for cello (1897) Pastorale, menuet triste et nocturne, for violin and piano (1900)
  4. 4. List of Famous Romanian composers. Eduard Caudella (1841-1924), wrote the first Romanian opera, Petru Rares Ion Ivanovici (1845-1902), composer of The Waves of Danube waltz; Constantin Dimitrescu (1847-1928), composer of the Peasant Dance. Ciprian Porumbescu (1853-1883), composer, conductor, violinist, and pianist Teodor Teodorescu (1876-1920), composer, conductor and professor Tiberiu Brediceanu (1877-1968), composer and folklorist George Enescu (1881-1955), composer, violinist, pianist Gheorghe Cucu (1882-1932), folklorist and composer; Dimitrie Cuclin (1885-1978), composer, musicologist, philosopher and writer Nicolae Bretan (1887-1968), opera composer, also baritone, conductor and critic Grigoraş Dinicu (1889-1949), composer of the violin showpiece “Hora staccato” Mihail Jora (1891-1971), was the father of the Romanian ballet Martian Negrea (1893-1975), composer, teacher and conductor. Sabin Dragoi (1894-1968), composer and folklorist, Theodor Rogalski (1901-1954), composer, conductor and pianist Filaret Barbu (1903-1984), composer, well known for the operetta Ana Lugojana Nicolae Kirculescu (1903-1985), composer of theater and film music Sergiu Celibidache ( 1912-1996 ), composer and conductor Anatol Vieru (1926-1998), composer of symphonic, chamber and choral music George Grigoriu (1927-1999), composer of The Waves of the Danube operetta
  5. 5. Biography George Enescu, was born August 19, 1881, in Liveni-Varnav, now George Enescu town, Dorohoi county. Considered to be a wonder-child, “little Jurjac” (the nickname given by his family and friends), as early as the age of five, dreamt to be a composer: “It’s odd though: I never knew anything, I never listened to anything or to very little, I never had anyone near me who could influence me. And still, as a child, I had a definite idea about being a composer. Just a composer “, George Enescu said later to Bernard Gavoty, a music critic and a radio journalist. At the age of 3, he had one of those decisive musical experiences when he heard, by accident and for the first time, some fiddlers playing near to his native village. Impressed by what he heard, the child tried to imitate the instruments of the folk music band the very next day: the violin was a “thread sewn on a piece of wood”, the cembalo was a couple of wooden sticks, and he imitated the reed pipe by blowing through his lips. He receives his first musical notions from his father at the age of 4. As they noticed his preoccupation with the art of sounds, his parents give the little musician a small violin with three strings. He gets upset because he isn’t taken seriously and given a real violin and throws the toy into the fire. Only after he receives the violin he dreamt of, so much, he starts playing by ear, on a single string, with one finger, the songs he heard in the village. Romanian Rhapsody no. 2 in D major Opus 11
  6. 6. George with his parents George as a very young violinist
  7. 7. In 1886, Eduard Caudella, who was a composer and a professor at the Conservatoire in Iasi, noticed George Enescu’s special talent and advised his parents to direct him towards musical studies. Proofs of his first attempts at composition are dated 1887, when he was only six years old. “As soon as I had a piano at my disposal, I started composing. I changed with a profound joy the monody instrument I had been playing at until then with a polyphonic instrument; it was so good to revel in strains after I couldn’t do anything else but play some songs without any accompaniment at all! and without any hesitation, I started composing.” (G. Enescu in B. Gavoty, George Enescu’s Memories). Between 1888 and 1894, George Enescu was studying at the Vienna Conservatoire with renowned professors of the time, such as Siegmund Bachrich and Josef Hellmesberger Junior (violin), Ernst Ludwig (piano) and Robert Fuchs (harmony, counterpoint and composition). At the recommendation of Josef Hellmesberger, violin professor and the son of the director of Vienna Conservatoire, George Enescu was sent by his father to study in Paris. Thus, he studied at the Paris Conservatoire (1895-1899) under the guidance of professors Martin-Pierre-Joseph Marsick and Jose White for violin, Jules Massenet and Gabriel Fauré for composition, Ambroise Thomas and Theodore Dubois for harmony, and André Gédalge for counterpoint.
  8. 8. The four “school symphonies”, works that brought the young composer George Enescu the public acknowledgement, date back from the period he spent studying in Paris: The Romanian Poem Op. 1 (1897) for orchestra and male choir, Sonata no. 1 for piano and violin in D major Op. 2 (1897), Suite no. 1 in G minor, in the old style, for piano Op. 3 (1897), Sonata no. 2 for piano and violin in F minor Op. 6 (1899), Although, what he wanted most was to compose music and not to become a virtuoso violin player, the studies, the perseverance and the participation in violin competitions at the Conservatoire in Paris brought Enescu a second prize in 1898 and, a year later, the first prize, with which he graduated on July 24th, 1899 the violin class at the Conservatoire in Paris; and for this occasion, he was offered a precious Bernardel violin with his name engraved on it. “However, even then, I wasn’t thinking too much about violin. I was drunk with music and not with giving performance on an instrument. I dreamt only about composing, composing, and again composing. As I remember those happy times, I smile to myself. Sure, to master my writing and exercise my spirit, I wrote a lot, it is true, but I dare to say that everything came from the bottom of my heart!”. (G. Enescu in B. Gavoty, George Enescu’s Memories).
  9. 9. As a performer, he founded and conducted two instrumental music ensembles in Paris: a piano trio (in 1902) and a string quartet (in 1904). He played in Germany, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Great Britain and the USA. The best known Enescu’s compositions date back to the first years of the 20th century. Among those there are: The two Romanian Rhapsodies (1901-1902) Symphony in E flat major, Op. 13, no. 1 (1905). Suite no. 1 for orchestra in C major, Op. 9 The Suite no. 1, was composed in 1903 but only performed for the first time in 1911 by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the renowned composer and conductor Gustav Mahler In 1913, he created and paid from his own money the George Enescu National Composition Award, which was given annually until 1946. This composition competition was organized to encourage Romanian creation and offered the winners, alongside generous amounts of money, the opportunity of having their works interpreted in a concert. George Enescu was also the founder (in 1920) and the president (from 1920 till 1948) of the Romanian Composers’ Society in Bucharest. Nocturne et Saltarello for Cello & Piano - I andante
  10. 10. During World War I, together to his creative activity, Enescu gave concerts in Romania for the wounded in hospitals. After the war, he resumed his tours as a violinist and conductor in Switzerland, France, Holland, Spain, USA, Portugal, Canada etc. Enescu founded The Symphonic Orchestra in Iași and he conducted it between 1918 and 1920; he also conducted the Philharmonic Society Orchestra (1898-1906), the Public Instruction Ministry Orchestra (1906-1920), and the Philharmonic Orchestra in Bucharest (1920-1946). Enescu was often invited at the Peleș Castle by Queen Elisabeth of Romania, whose “nom-de-plume” was Carmen Sylva, to give concerts and violin recitals. A series of songs in German are the result of the artistic collaboration between Enescu, the composer, and the Queen, the author. His most beloved composition, the one he worked on for more than 10 years, is the opera Oedipe, Op. 23. Finished in 1931, it was dedicated to Maria Rosetti Cantacuzino, the woman who became, in 1937, George Enescu’s wife.
  11. 11. During his work at the opera Oedip, George Enescu finished a series of symphonic and chamber pieces, representative for the composer’s mature style: Symphony no. 2 in A major, Op. 17 (1914), Suite for orchestra no. 2 in C major, Op. 20 (1915), Symphony no. 3 in C major, Op. 21 (1918-1921) String Quartet no. 1, in E flat, Op. 22 (1920) Sonata for piano in F sharp minor, no. 1, Op. 24 (1924) Sonata for piano and violin no. 3, in A minor, in Romanian folk character, Op. 25 (1926). They were followed by: Sonata for piano and cello in C major, Op. 26 no. 2 (dedicated to the great cello player Pablo Casals) Pastoral Suite in D major, Op. 27 (1939) String Quartet in G major, Op. 22 no. 2 (1951) Chamber Symphony for 12 solo instruments, Op. 33 (1954) Vox Maris, Op. 31, symphonic poem for mixed choir with tenor and soprano solo and a great orchestra (1954). During the period that followed World War II, George Enescu leaves Romania and settles in Paris, where he died in 1955.
  12. 12. George Enescu List of Works
  13. 13. Orchestral Symphonies Opus 13: Symphony No. 1 in E major (1905) Opus 17: Symphony No. 2 in A major (1912–1914) Opus 21: Symphony No. 3 in C major, with chorus (1916–1918) Concerti Opus 8: Symphonie concertante in B minor, for cello and orchestra (1901) Suites Opus 9: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major (1903) Opus 20: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C major (1915) Opus 27: Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major Suite villageoise (1937–1938) Miscellaneous Opus 1: Poème roumaine, symphonic suite for orchestra and wordless male choir (1897) Opus 11, No. 1: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A major (1901) Opus 11, No. 2: Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 in D major (1902) Opus 12, No. 1: Intermède No. 1, for strings (1902) Opus 12, No. 2: Intermède No. 2, for strings (1903) Opus 32: Ouverture de concert (sur des thèmes dans le caractère populaire roumain in A major, 1948) Opus 31: Vox maris in G major, (symphonic poem for tenor, three-part choir and orchestra, 1954) Pastorale - I menuet triste
  14. 14. Chamber Quartets/Quintets Opus 16: Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major (1909) Opus 22, No. 1: String Quartet No. 1 in E major (1916–20) Opus 29: Piano Quintet in A minor (1940) Opus 30: Piano Quartet No. 2 in D minor (1943–44) Opus 22, No. 2: String Quartet No. 2 in G major (1950–52) Sonatas Violin Opus 2: Violin Sonata No. 1 in D major (1897) Opus 6: Violin Sonata No. 2 in F minor (1899) Opus 25: Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor dans le caractère populaire roumain (1926) Cello Opus 26, No. 1: Cello Sonata No. 1 in F minor (1898) Opus 26, No. 2: Cello Sonata No. 2 in C major (1935) Miscellaneous Opus 7: Octet for Strings in C major (1900) Opus 14: Dixtour in D major, for wind instruments (1906) Opus 28: Impressions d'enfance, for violin and piano (1938) Opus 33: Chamber Symphony, for 12 instruments (1954)
  15. 15. Piano Opus 3: Piano Suite No. 1 in G minor “Dans le style ancien” (1897) Opus 5: Variations for Two Pianos on an Original Theme in A major (1898) Opus 10: Piano Suite No. 2 in D major (1903) Opus 18: Piano Suite No.3 Pieces impromptus (1913–1916) Opus 24, No. 1: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor (1924) Opus 24, No. 3: Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major (1933–1935) Opera Opus 23: Œdipe, tragédie lyrique in four acts, libretto by Edmond Fleg (1910–31) Songs Opus 4: Trois melodies sur poèmes de Jules Lemaitre et Sully Prudhomme, for bass and piano (1898): Le désert, Le galop, Soupir. Opus 15: Sept chansons de Clement Marot, for tenor and piano (1907–08) Estrenne à Anne Languir me fais Aux damoyselles paresseusses Estrenne de la rose Present de le couleur blanche Changeons propos Du conflict en douleur Opus 19: Trois mélodies sur poèmes de Fernand Gregh (1915–16) Pluie, Le silence musicien and L'ombre est bleue
  16. 16. Works without opus number Orchestral Symphonies Study Symphony No. 1 in D minor (1895) Study Symphony No. 2 in F major (1895) Study Symphony No. 3 in F major (1896) Study Symphony No. 4 in E flat major (1898) Symphony No. 4 (unfinished, 1934; completed by Pascal Bentoiu) Symphony No. 5 in D major, (unfinished, 1941; completed by Pascal Bentoiu) Concerti Ballade, for violin and orchestra (1895) Fantaisie, for piano and orchestra (1896) Caprice Roumain, for violin and orchestra (unfinished, 1928; completed by Cornel Taranu) Miscellaneous Three Overtures for orchestra (1891–1894) Sonata for Orchestra (1894) Tragic Overture (1895) Andantino from an orchestral suite (1896) Triumphal Overture (1896) Four Divertissements for orchestra (1896) Pastorale-Fantaisie for orchestra (1899) Isis, symphonic poem (unfinished, 1923; completed by Pascal Bentoiu) Suite châtelaine, for orchestra (unfinished, 1911; completed by Remus Georgescu)
  17. 17. Chamber Trios/Quartets/Quintets Quartet for four violins (1894) Piano Quintet (1896) Piano Trio in G minor (1897) Trio for two violins and cello (c.1899) Aubade, Trio for violin, viola and cello (1899) Sérénade lointaine, for violin, cello and piano (1903) Piano Trio in A minor (1916) Piano Trio (unfinished, 1942, completed by Pascal Bentoiu) Miscellaneous Opera, for violin and piano (1886) Suite of variations for two violins (1894) Tarantelle for violin and piano (1895) Violin Sonata (1895) Nocturne and Saltarello, for cello (1897) Prélude, for two pianos, violin and cello (1898) Sérénade en sourdine, for violin and cello (c.1899) Andante religioso, for two cellos and organ (1900)
  18. 18. Miscellaneous Pastorale, menuet triste et nocturne, for violin and piano, four hands (1900) Wind Septet, for flute, oboe, cor anglais, clarinet, bassoon, horn and piano (1900) Impromptu concertant in G-flat major, for violin and piano (1903) Cantabile et presto, for flute and piano (1904) Allegro de concert, for chromatic harp (1904) Concertstück, for viola and piano (1906) Légende, for trumpet and piano (1906) Au soir, poem for four trumpets (1906) Aria and Scherzino, for violin, viola, cello, double bass and piano (1909) Hora unirei, for violin and piano (1917) Piano Waltz (1887) Pièce d'église (1889) Rondo and Variations (1893) Ballade (1894) Introduction, Adagio and Allegro (1894) Piano Sonata (1894) Polka (1894–1895) Sonatina, for four hands (1894–1895) Romance, for four hands (1894–1895) La fileuse (1897) Regrets (1898) Impromptu (1898) Suite for piano, four hands (1898)
  19. 19. Piano Modérément (1898) Allemande (c.1899) Four-part fugue on an original subject (1895–1896) Prelude (1896) Scherzo (1896) Impromptu (1900) Prélude et fugue (1903) Nocturne (1907) Pièce sur le nom de Fauré (1922) Vocal & Choral 3 Cantatas 14 Lieder based on several poets 15 Lieder based on the verses of Carmen Sylva
  20. 20. George Enescu statue in front of the opera house.
  21. 21. Juke Box Romanian Rhapsody no. 1 in A major Opus 11 Aubade Trio for violin, viola and cello Romanian Rhapsody no 2 in D major Opus 11 Romanian Poem Opus 1 allegro Nocturne et Saltarello for Cello & Piano - I andante Serenade Lointaine Pastorale - I menuet triste String Octet Opus 7
  22. 22. E N D Reference: AVM 31.10.2013
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