Richard Pennycuick <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>I was very interested to read Christopher Webber's post on this CD.
>Several years ago I bought the same forces' performances of the Enescu
>symphonies and suites on Arte Nova, so this new one gives us, apparently,
>the remainder of the major orchestral works. If Christopher is familiar
>with the earlier Erato and Marco Polo versions of Rumanian Poem, which
>differ slightly in the version used, I'd like his comparative thoughts on
The difference in versions is due to the practice in Romania under
communism of lopping off most of the last few bars of the score, the
apotheosis based on the old Royalist anthem. At least two of the five
versions I've heard adopt this ending, which doesn't work so well as the
original version, and was not of course sanctioned by Enescu. As far as
comparisons go, the Marco Polo and Iosif Conta's reading with native forces
on an old Electrecord issue (now found on Stradivari classics) can be
safely put to one side on grounds of both textual and recording quality.
There's little wrong with Lawrence Foster's admirable version with the
Monte-Carlo orchestra on Erato. As with the rest of this good value 2-CD
Ultima set, the playing is not entirely idiomatic compared against the best
Andreescu's cogent reading was the safe recommendation until the new
Mandeal version appeared. The newcomer is more vivid in every department
including recording, takes more risks and brings the whole piece off in a
way which certainly made me re-evaluate my impression of Enescu's first
acknowledged work upwards from "very promising" to "consummately achieved".
It's not such a smooth ride as the Olympia performance, but the music
making is at a higher voltage.
Why isn't Mandeal more of an international figure? He seems to me to
without current peer - whatever the repertoire I hear him tackle (and I'm
looking forward to his new Claves CD of Basque composer Arambarri, with
Maria Bayo no less!)
>these days, Enescu seems to be the standard spelling. Does anyone know
>why the earlier spelling was used?
He used Enesco in France, where he spent a great deal of his working life,
and this was most usually used on performance bills during his lifetime.
Enescu seems to be generally preferred nowadays.
Christopher Webber, Blackheath, London, UK.