Early George Enescu Chamber Works Satisfy

This release presents two chamber works by George Enescu. Both Tte Piano Quartet No. 1, and the Piano Trio come from early in his career.

Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major is representative of Enescu’s music at the time. It has rich, post-Romantic harmonies. And the melodies share some characteristics with Romanian folk music. The piano quartet was published in 1909. Enescu wouldn’t return to the form until 1930. And when he did, his compositional style had significantly changed.

The work is paired with the Piano Trio in A minor. Enescu wrote the work around 1911 but never published it. The trio was discovered in 1965, among the late composer’s papers.

The trio complements the quartet nicely. The texture is thinner, of course. The harmonies also seem leaner as well. Overall the piece seems to have a restlessness to it — especially as performed here.

The four musicians on this release perform well together. Violinist Stefan Tarara plays expressively, yet with restraint. Pianist Josu De Solaun provides solid support for the strings without overpowering them.

And Molly Carr (viola) and Eun-Sun Hong (cello) also deserve mention. All four (or three in the case of the trio) present unified visions of these works.

And that makes them all the more enjoyable. If you’re looking for 20th Century music that isn’t afraid of beauty, give this a listen.

George Enescu: Piano Quartet No. 1; Piano Trio
Stefan Tarara, violin; Molly Carr, viola;
Eun-Sun Hong, cello; Josu De Solaun, piano

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