Georges Enescu


Schubert Club Performance: January 14, 1937

Georges Enescu

Enescu was the greatest classical musician ever to come from Romania. Among the finest violinists of his generation, he was also an outstanding composer, conductor and teacher. Following studies in Vienna – where he performed for the emperor at the age of ten – and at the Paris Conservatoire – where his classmates and friends included Ravel and Cortot – Enescu led a divided existence between the French capital and his native country. His masterpiece as a composer is the opera Oedipe (Oedipus), which took him many years to complete; as a conductor, he appeared often in the US and was even under consideration to succeed Toscanini at the New York Philharmonic; perhaps the most famous of his many distinguished pupils in Europe and America was Yehudi Menuhin, who revered him. As a virtuoso he was acclaimed all over the world. Enescu amassed a sizeable discography. Here he is in a 1929 recording of Fritz Kreisler’s Tempo di Minuetto in the Style of Pugnani:

In 1932, he recorded the Bach Double Violin Concerto in Paris with Menuhin and Pierre Monteux conducting. Here’s the finale:

On this live NBC radio broadcast from 1937, the year of his Schubert Club recital, he is heard in a typically intense performance of the slow movement from Mendelssohn Violin Concerto: 

In 1943, Enescu recorded a number of his own works, including the Violin Sonata “In the Romanian Folk Style”. He was joined by another of the century’s legendary musicians, the Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti, who was also his godson. Here’s the first movement:

Artist note by Richard Evidon

From the Schubert Club Archive:

Georges Enesco 1937 Program Cover

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Georges Enesco 1937 Program Page

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