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Orchestre National de France, Cristian Macelaru

Enescu: Symphonies Nos. 1 - 3 (3CD)

Cristian Măcelaru and the Orchestra National de France present the complete symphonies of Romania’s greatest composer, George Enescu (1881-1955). Also included are the much-loved Romanian Rhapsodies Nos. 1 and 2.

As well as being Romania’s greatest composer, George Enescu was a true Renaissance man – a violinist, conductor and teacher whose influence on what was then the younger generation of musicians was considerable: Yehudi Menuhin said of him that he would ‘always remain the Absolute by which I judge others’, while the Belgian violinist-composer Eugène Ysaÿe dedicated his Third Sonata for Solo Violin to Enescu as an act of homage. Enescu’s own considerable output includes three symphonies, all composed between 1905 and 1918, as well as the torsos of another two begun in 1935 and 1941 but still left unfinished at the time of his death in 1955.

"The five compositions presented here offer perfect examples of the artistic development of one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. From the youthful brilliance of the Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 to the profound, ethereal, philosophical ending of the Third Symphony, one can discover and relive the journey of this great genius, and my personal hero, George Enescu" says conductor Cristian Măcelaru.

GRAMMY Award-winning conductor Cristian Măcelaru is Artistic Director of the George Enescu Festival and Competition, Music Director of the Orchestre National de France, Chief Conductor of the WDR Sinfonieorchester, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Interlochen Center for the Arts’ World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Music Director and Conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

At the 2023 George Enescu Festival, his inaugural season as Artistic Director, Măcelaru conducted the George Enescu Philharmonic, WDR Sinfonieorchester and Orchestre National de France alongside the Romanian Youth Orchestra.

Symphonies Nos. 1–3
Romanian Rhapsodies, Op. 11 Nos. 1 & 2