GEORGE ENESCU: Piano Sonata No. 1 in f sharp minor; Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major; Prelude and Fugue in C major; Nocturne in D flat major; Scherzo; Pièce sur le nom de Fauré – Luiza Borac, piano – Avie

by | Nov 6, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

GEORGE ENESCU: Piano Sonata No. 1 in f sharp minor; Piano Sonata No. 3 in D major; Prelude and Fugue in C major; Nocturne in D flat major; Scherzo; Pièce sur le nom de Fauré – Luiza Borac, piano – Avie Multichannel SACD (2 discs) AV2081, 1:33:42 total **** [www.ArkivMusic.com]:

In the second volume devoted to the piano music of Enescu, the brilliant young Roumanian pianist Luiza Borac presents more keyboard evidence for the stance taken by the note booklet writer, namely that Enescu is the greatest composer whose greatness is not yet generally recognized.  In the first volume (also on an Avie SACD) she performed the Three Piano Suites of the composer. Both the 20-minute Nocturne on the first disc and the extraordinary Third Sonata on the second disc are major works that should be heard in concert as regularly as, say, any of the Beethoven piano sonatas. It is a surprise to read that although Enescu had a Second Sonata in his head, he never wrote it down so it no longer exists!

Enesco had an amazing range of musical interests. In his farewell concert in New York City in 1950 – which marked the 60th anniversary of his first public appearance at age 8 – he took on the multiple capacity of violinist, pianist, conductor and composer – the program including the Bach Double Violin Concerto with Yehudi Menuhin playing the other violin part. The first movement of his First Piano Sonata shows a debt to Debussy and Ravel, but the first stirrings of Roumania folk music are also heard in this early work. The atmospheric and disturbing Nocturne of 1907 is a strange work of pentatonic harmonic inflection and wild improvisation similar to Sorabji and East Indian music. The early Prelude and Fugue in C major transforms a Bachian style into a lyrical modern setting. Sonics are rich and capture a feeling of the hall in this impressive recording.

 – John Sunier

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