Saturday, May 27, 2017

George Enescu - Symphony No. 1; Symphonie Concertante (Hannu Lintu; Truls Mørk)


Information

Composer: George Enescu
  1. Symphonie Concertante for cello & orchestra in B flat minor, Op. 8: Assez lent -
  2. Symphonie Concertante for cello & orchestra in B flat minor, Op. 8: Assez lent -
  3. Symphonie Concertante for cello & orchestra in B flat minor, Op. 8: Majestueux
  4. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 13: I. Assez vif et rythmé
  5. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 13: II. Lent
  6. Symphony No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 13: III. Vif et vigoureux

Truls Mørk, cello (1-3)
Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
Hannu Lintu, conductor

Date: 2015
Label: Ondine
http://www.ondine.net/?lid=en&cid=2.2&oid=5455


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Review

There’s something very ‘pre-Shostakovich’ about the austere chord that opens the 20-year-old Enescu’s Symphonie concertante, but thereafter this lyrical outpouring from 1901 is entirely characteristic. The mostly slow first movement ends in a flurry of solo activity; the brief Assez lent that follows pushes the intensity levels up a notch or two, whereas the finale, like the first movement, is in essence an unstoppable flow of melodic invention. Truls Mørk is top dollar in all key respects, his phrase-shaping sensitively inflected (just try his first entry), and his tone production as warm as anyone could wish for. A fair match, I’d say, for the equally excellent Alban Gerhardt, whose Hyperion recording (with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Carlos Kalmar) also programmes music by Dohnányi and d’Albert.

Enescu’s First Symphony postdates the Symphonie concertante by four years and in terms of confidence and maturity marks a significant step forwards, from the assertive opening, through the expressive slow movement, to the finale, which opens very much in the manner of Brahms (Haydn Variations, Second Symphony). No need to sing the praises of Hannu Lintu and the Tampere Philharmonic in this repertoire. Their version of the Second Symphony (10/12 – coupled with the Chamber Symphony) earned itself a Gramophone Award nomination in 2013, whereas their coupling of the Concert Overture and Third Symphony (1/14) is consistent with its stablemates and scores top marks for both musical quality and technical excellence.

Lintu’s performance of the three-movement First Symphony more or less matches Cristian Mandeal and the Bucharest Philharmonic (Arte Nova) for tempo in the first movement, whereas Mandeal chooses marginally broader speeds for the next two. I much prefer the better-focused Lintu. As to the same coupling featuring the George Enescu State Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Romanian Radio and Television with cellist Valentin Arcu (Marco Polo), slower tempi all round dull the effect, not to mention less distinctive playing both from the soloist and the orchestras. So a definite thumbs-up for Mørk and Lintu.

-- Rob Cowan, Gramophone

More reviews:
http://www.classical-music.com/enescu-orchestral-review-jul15
http://www.musicaltoronto.org/2015/05/11/cd-reviews-two-new-enescu-discoveries-axel-straussilya-poletaev-hannu-lintutruls-mork/
https://www.naxos.com/reviews/reviewslist.asp?catalogueid=ODE1198-2&languageid=EN

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George Enescu (19 August 1881 – 4 May 1955) was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher, regarded as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and Romania's most important musician. He was the youngest student ever admitted to the Vienna Conservatory at the age of seven. Many of Enescu's works were influenced by Romanian folk music, his most popular compositions being the two Romanian Rhapsodies. He was also a noted violin teacher. Yehudi Menuhin, Christian Ferras, Ivry Gitlis, Arthur Grumiaux, Serge Blanc, Ida Haendel and Joan Field were among his pupils.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Enescu

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Hannu Lintu (born 13 October 1967, Rauma, Finland) is a Finnish conductor. Lintu studied piano and cello at the Turku Conservatory and at the Sibelius Academy, and studied conducting with Atso Almila, Jorma Panula and Eri Klas. He was chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (1998-2001), Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra (2009-2013) and is currently chief conductor of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (since 2013). Lintu has conducted commercial recordings for such labels as Claves, Dacapo, Danacord, Hyperion, Naxos, and Ondine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannu_Lintu

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Truls Mørk (born 25 April 1961 in Bergen) is a Norwegian cellist. Mørk began his studies with Frans Helmerson at 17 at Edsberg Music Institute, then went on to study with the Russian cellist Natalia Shakhovskaya. Mørk's discography includes an award-winning recordings of the Shostakovich Cello Concertos and of Bach's Suites for Solo Cello. He has recorded for such labels as Virgin Classics and Harmonia mundi. He performs on a rare Domenico Montagnana cello (Venice, 1723), whose scroll was made by Stradivarius.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truls_M%C3%B8rk

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