Enescu's nationalism is rarely in question in
the works of his high maturity. In this he looks in the direction
of the folk-inflected Szymanowski and Karayev.
The Second Sonata (dedicated to Thibaud) was
written before the nationalistic mould was formed. It is contemporaneous
with the orgiastic First Symphony. The sonata is songful with
Enescu adopting the manner and style of Franck and Lekeu. It is
no wonder that all three movements carry French titles for Gallic
sensibilities and wayward passions mark out this turn-of-century
work. Stanzeleit has a hoarse hollow tone that is all tremulous
fragility and roughened intensity in the outer movements.
A quarter of a century later Enescu had
merged his high romantic style with folk-impressionism. The Third
Sonata weaves misty landscapes, camp fires, melancholy and gypsy
dances into a goulash that sways with Eastern arcana. At times
I took this for a sort of romantic Zigeunerweisen or Tzigane
and broadly speaking that is what it is. The andante sostenuto
e misterioso has some extraordinary gipsy fiddler acrobatics
smartly executed to utterly musical effect by Stanzeleit. Aptly
enough the infamous First Rumanian Rhapsody follows the Third
Sonata. The Rhapsody could just as easily carry the title of the
Third Sonata: Dans la caractère populaire roumain.
Competition comes from Hyperion Helios series
CDH55103 (the Opreans). Choice is a matter of stylistic preference.
Stanzeleit has the more vibrant and vulnerable approach - certainly
consistent with the gipsy element. On the other hand Adelina Oprean
is steadier, less hoarse, a shade more buttoned down.
The good notes, in English only are by Neil Butterworth.
Stanzeleit and Jacobson revel in the spontaneity
of the gipsy scores.