Enescu: String Quartets 1 & 2 / Quatour Ad Libitum

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This is one of those recordings that amply demonstrates the wisdom of Naxos' mission: greatly interesting though underheard repertoire; well-informed, talented performers who do justice to the music; unbeatable price. These quartets by Georges Enescu, who is much better known as one of the most influential violinists of the first half of the 20th century than as a composer, are lovely. The two works share a generally husky and dark-voiced tonality, sublimely Romanian textures, melodies that never slack into kitschiness, and a tendency to squeeze in many more thematic ideas than is perhaps advisable (see the 46-minute Quartet No. 1 for an example of such, though the much later second quartet is much more successful in squelching that impulse). The Romanian Ad Libitum Quartet (founded, coincidentally, at the Georges Enescu Academy of Arts in Iasi) is a perfect advocate for this music, with playing that is passionate yet never vulgar. The miking results in a wonderfully crisp sound, but the recording levels were clearly set a little too low. Be prepared to jack up the volume a few settings higher than you might regularly use. --Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com

Product Description:

  • Release Date: February 01, 2001

  • Catalog Number: 8554721

  • UPC: 636943472125

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1

  • Composer: George Enescu

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Ad Libitum String Quartet

  • Performer: Adrian Berescu, Bogdan Bisoc, Filip Papa, Serban Mereuta