Born in 1881, George Enescu led the life of a globetrotter. Although he became acquainted with all manner of schools and styles during his thorough studies in Vienna and Paris, it was invariably folk music that provided him with the most important source of inspiration. Thanks to their freshness and impressive thematic invention, the two Roumanian Rhapsodies have remained firm favourites to this day. Nothing in the music appears to demand great effort or mental struggle. The colourful mixture of lyrical and spirited passages seems completely natural and homogeneous, offering sheer delight for the ears right up to the final chord. Enescu’s carefree ‘hits’ serve as an ideal introduction to two orchestral heavyweights by Franz Liszt, which undoubtedly are to be counted as 'state of the art' works in this particular genre. Antal Dorati conducts the London Symphony Orchestra with a firm hand and complete concentration – as is demanded by this tightly knit score –, always managing to find the perfect balance between timbral force and transparency. Of course one can find elsewhere these compositions being performed faster, louder and with questionable sensational effects. But if you are looking for a faithful interpretation of the score, musicality and natural sound, then this is the recording for you.
1. George Enesco: Two Roumanian Rhapsodies, Opus II (No.1 in A Major/ No. 2 in D Major)
2. Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 / Hungarian Rhapsody No. 3