- George Enescu (b. 1881 - d. 1955)
- Composition Year
- Alexei Grynyuk [piano]
|Composer||George Enescu (b. 1881 - d. 1955)|
|Work Title||Romanian Rhapsody No.1 Op.11/1|
|Artist(s)||Alexei Grynyuk [piano]|
|Performance Date||Tuesday 2nd July 2013|
|Performance Venue||Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,|
|Recording Engineer||Damian Chennells, RTÉ lyric fm|
|Programme Note Writer||© Francis Humphrys|
If she had lived, Mihaela Ursuleasa had asked to perform this work in this year’s Festival, where she was due to appear. It is a work redolent of Enescu’s and her homeland’s folk music and it seemed perfect to conclude this concert dedicated to her memory with a joyful display of prodigious piano technique without a hint of maudlin sentiment.
By the end of his life Enescu was heartily sick of the popular success enjoyed by his Rhapsodies, which had eclipsed all his other works. Nonetheless despite the mature composer’s scornful opinion they retain their popularity and Enescu himself made the piano transcription that we hear this evening. The brightness and freshness of the Rhapsodies lie in the spontaneity with which different contrasting dance-tunes and songs succeed one another without any labouring of thematic connections. Although the music does set up occasional clever thematic superimpositions, they are accomplished with such ingenuity that the effect is of two streams flowing smoothly in parallel, rather than a turbulent clash of currents. Later in life he claimed to have just thrown together a few tunes without thinking seriously about it. However sketches survive that show he put a lot of thought into the process with the tunes carefully numbered and ordered with a series of drafts on connecting passages. As always the appearance of effortless ease in a work – and indeed in its performance – is the result of intense preparation and hard work as well as the creative spark.