GEORGE ENESCU (1881-1955): Symphony No. 5 in D for Tenor, Female Choir and Orchestra, Isis for Female Choir and Orchestra (both ed. Pascal Bentoiu [b.1927]).

Catalogue Number: 07Q001

Label: CPO

Reference: 777 823-2

Format: CD

Price: $15.98

Description: Enescu's main problem with composition was that his extremely busy schedule as a performer left him little time to finish many of his works. Sketches and partially completed or partially orchestrated pieces remain in some number and this is the first time either of his final two symphonies has been prepared for performance (Bentoiu's name as a symphonist will be familiar to those of you with good Electrecord LP collections). The symphony dates from 1941 and has two-thirds of its first movement written out in full (Bentoiu worked in this during 1995-96). A sea-scape-like Impressionism and the Ravel of Daphnis are suggested in the broad first movement and you might hear Rubbra in his contemplative vein and/or Vaughan Williams a few times in the slow movement whose modality suggests Romanian folk music. The impressive sound of the brass in the stormy scherzo at times might suggest the Bax of his early, Celtic-inspired symphonies and tone poems while the vocal finale has much of the passionate and ecstatic yearning of the Mahler of Das Lied von der Erde. You may hear other likenesses; these are just subjective signposts for your information. The 19-minute tone-poem Isis was written in 1923 and some of its melodic motifs are similar to those of his opera Œdipe, which he was working on at the same time. A wordless female chorus is used as an additional tone color. Isis was orchestrated in 1999 from a sketch on three staves which Enesco left with some specifications about instrumentation, tempi, dynamics etc. Romanian-English texts. Marius Vlad (tenor), North German Radio Choir, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern; Peter Ruzicka.


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