Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

George ENESCU (1881-1955)
Violin Sonata No. 2 (1899) [22.35]
Violin Sonata No. 3 (1926) [26.50]
Rumanian Rhapsody No. 1 (1911) [13.10]
Susanne Stanzeleit (violin)
Julian Jacobson (piano)
rec. no details given. DDD
MERIDIAN CDE 84469 [62.35]


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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.

Rob Barnett

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