Artist: Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Hannu Lintu
Title: George Enescu: Symphony No. 2 & Chamber Symphony
Release Date: 2012
Quality: High-Fidelity DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz
A 24-bit recording in DXD (Digital eXtreme Defnition)
There is a pedigreed narrative about the emergence of canonic composers in the eastern half of Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Like social modernisation, cultural renewal during the nineteenth century was supposedly a response to ideas and practices from the charismatic cultural capitals of Western Europe: an appropriation and then a transformation of modalities developed elsewhere.
And because of this response mode, so it is argued, there was initially an element of ‘forms without substance’ about the process. Then, as this response slowly fused with a developing nationalist commitment, music in these regions found its ‘historical moment’, initially in the Czech lands, and then in Hungary, Poland and Romania. When the conditions were right, significant composers, including Bla Bartk, Karol Szymanowski and George Enescu, appeared on cue.
George Enescu is best remembered for his evergreen Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1, but most of his music has taken a long time to enter the western repertoire. Because the Symphony No. 2 in A major and the Chamber Symphony for 12 instruments have been treated to a handful of recordings, they are perhaps more familiar to listeners than most of his works, though limited availability still keeps them from a wider audience. That’s why Hannu Lintu’s recording of these works for Ondine is an important contribution to the catalog, because his clear and cogent readings with the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra have the potential to establish these pieces outside Romania. Enescu’s youthful energy, gift for memorable thems, and lush post-Romantic orchestration in the style of Richard Strauss make the Symphony No. 2 an engaging piece that listeners will immediately appreciate. The Chamber Symphony was Enescu’s last composition, left incomplete because of a stroke, so the work was finished by Marcel Mihalovici. It is somewhat less ingratiating because of its serious mood and comparatively thin textures, but its lyrical lines and coherent development make it accessible. Ondine’s recording of the symphony is spacious and vibrant, and all the details of the score are presented in gorgeous colors. However, the sound of the Chamber Symphony is dry and close to the instruments, making its sonorities sharp and austere. ~~AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
01 – Symphony No. 2 in A Major, Op. 17- I. Vivace, ma non troppo
02 – Symphony No. 2 in A Major, Op. 17- II. Andante giusto
03 – Symphony No. 2 in A Major, Op. 17- III. Un poco lento, marziale
04 – Symphony No. 2 in A Major, Op. 17- IV. Allegro vivace, marziale
05 – Chamber Symphony in E Major, Op. 33- I. Molto moderato, un poco maestoso
06 – Chamber Symphony in E Major, Op. 33- II. Allegretto molto moderato
07 – Chamber Symphony in E Major, Op. 33- III. Adagio
08 – Chamber Symphony in E Major, Op. 33- IV. Allegro molto moderato