George Enescu – Symphony No. 2, Romanian Rhapsody No. 2


Performer: BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Year: 1997

Composer: George Enescu

Label: Chandos

The Second Symphony is a huge, massively-scored orchestra extravaganza in three huge movements. In a way, the music is its own worst enemy. It’s so full of invention, and the composer tosses off ideas in such profusion, that the musical argument can get lost in the shuffle. The problem is compounded by the fact that the symphony is atrociously difficult to play. It’s the job of the conductor and the orchestra to clarify the musical line through balance and emphasis, and this requires either close familiarity or long hours of rehearsal. If the music were trivial or insignificant it wouldn’t really matter, but with a masterpiece, as is the case here, it’s a crime not to lavish as much attention on the music as it requires. It seems that Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the BBC Philharmonic had the time. This is a splendid performance from soup to nuts. –David Hurwitz


Romanian Rhapsody No. 2 in D major, Op. 11
Symphony No. 2 in A major, Op. 17
I. Vivace, ma non troppo
II. Andante giusto
III. Un poco lento, marziale
IV. Allegro vivace, marziale


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