Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|George Enescu, Donald Sulzen|
Enescu: Cello Sonatas 1 & 2
George Enescu (1881-1955) was one of the first Romanian composers to unite elements of the traditional folk music of his country with the tonal language of the nineteenth-century European mainstream. His talent was nurture... more »
George Enescu (1881-1955) was one of the first Romanian composers to unite elements of the traditional folk music of his country with the tonal language of the nineteenth-century European mainstream. His talent was nurtured through early acceptance at the Vienna Conservatory (at the age of seven). Later he moved to Paris, where he studied composition with Massenet and Fauré. His music from this period shows definite French and German influences, but Enescu also turned to the folk music of Romania, as in the popular Romanian Rhapsodies. His two Cello Sonatas are outstanding examples of his skill in chamber music. Cellist Gerhard Zank has received many prizes in international chamber music competitions as well as the German Recording Critics' Prize in 1985 and 1988. He founded the Munich Piano Trio and the Ensemble Bonaventura. Donald Sulzen numbers among the most sought-after pianists for lied accompaniment and chamber music on the international circuit. He was born in Kansas City but since 1994 has taught at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich.
Much better than only a 2* rating!
Giradman | 07/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just received the disc of Enescu's Cello Sonatas w/ Zank & Sulzen on the Arte Nova (my cover art is different - shows a modern looking art image); however, same performances from 1997. I am writing this 'short' review mainly to counteract the undeserved poor rating already present.
Firstly, these are not both 'youthful' works (one was written in 1898, and the other in 1935, so are separated by 37 yrs and certainly by differences in Enescu's composing); also, both are included as Op. 26 works despite their years of composition; Enescu had only 33 Opus numbers (although he composed a lot more music that was not given a specific number).
Secondly, the performers on this CD are well respected chamber musicians and do extremely well in this repertoire; the cello is quite obvious in both pieces, but the piano indeed does share an 'equal' role (remember that Enescu was not only one of the best violinists in the world at the time, but was in addition considered an equally superb pianist) - guess one could just as easily call these 'Piano Sonatas'? Despite the budget price, the recording engineering on the disc is outstanding and is 'up front', which I like; Enescu was quite particular about performance nuances (and was famous for this aspect of his own performances), and I'm sure that these two muscians have studied 'how' Enescu would want these works played.
Finally, there is a good review on MusicWeb (http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/2006/Nov06/Enescu_dom291079.htm)of another CD of these works, which provides much information, if interested; however, at the end, the reviewer states a preference for this Arte Nova offering. At the budget price from this company, you really can't go wrong in giving these excellent compositions by George a listen - you may not like the music, but that's the classical experience!"