George Enescu – His Life and Music

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George Enescu

His Life and Music

Noel Malcolm

Preface by Sir Yehudi Menuhin

Composer Studies (non-ISSN series)

ISBN: 978-0-907689-32-4

Extent: 320 pages

Size: 14.4 x 22.3 x 2.6 cm

Weight: 0.65 kg

Published: October 1990

Composition: Demy octavo ~ Illustrated ~ List of Works ~ List of Recordings ~ Index

Illustrations: 58 b/w; 26 music exx.

Table of Contents

The Romanian composer George Enescu (1881–1955) is one of the neglected giants of the twentieth century. Prodigiously gifted, he became best known in America as a conductor (where he was considered as a successor to Toscanini in New York) and in Europe as one of the greatest violinists of the century. But he was first and foremost a composer; and, tragically, his mature works – works of extraordinary emotional depth and intricate beauty – remain almost unknown outside Romania.

This, the first full-length study of Enescu and his music to be written in the West, tells the story of his life and development as a composer. All of Enescu’s published compositions, and many unpublished works, are discussed. The book in intended for the non-specialist reader as well as the musicologist. There is a detailed list of Enescu’s compositions and a list of all his known recordings as conductor, violinist and pianist.

Noel Malcolm is a historian, philosopher and journalist, and the leading English authority on Enescu. From 1981 to 1988 he was a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and is now Foreign Editor of The Spectator. A frequent visitor to Romania (and a trustee of the Mihai Eminescu Trust, which gave support to dissidents there during the Ceausescu years), he was the first Westerner to study Enescu’s manuscripts in the Enescu Museum in Bucharest after the museum had been closed down by the Communist government.


quoteThe writing is straightforward, based on thorough research […]. Highly recommended.quote

D. G. Engelhardt   Choice


quoteAltogether an excellent piece of workquote

  Neue Zeitschrift für Musik


quote[…] Noel Malcolm […] was able to produce here a wonderful biography written to appeal to the non-specialist reader as well as to the musicologist […] once described by Pablo Casals as "the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart", Enescu was not only one of the greatest violinists of the century, but a distinguished pianist and conductor too, an enlightened teacher (Yehudi Menuhin was one of his pupils) […] My belief is that [it] is just a matter of time before his reputation would start to rival Bartok's.quote

full review …

Robert Manari   Amazon Customer Review


quote[…] Malcolm has researched very thoroughly Enescu's life and music and the result of many years' work is presented here with clarity and insight. […] this is an indispensible "bible" for anyone interested in this neglected genius.quote

full review …

T. S. Fox   Amazon Customer Review


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