Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Georges Enescu (then usually rendered as "Enesco" in Britain) was known in my youth almost entirely for his Rumanian (sic) Rhapsodies. You hardly hear them these days, but they were popular - too popular for the composer's liking, apparently - on a par with Khachaturian's Sabre Dance or Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. Airings of his music in the UK dwindled after his death, but one imagines France, where he settled, has been more kind to his reputation.

Jessica Duchen has written this appreciation and last weekend Radio 3's Music Matters was largely given over to Enescu. The occasion is the overdue London production of Enescu's magnum opus, Oedipe (Oedipus). Maybe this will renew interest here in a man Yehudi Menuhin described as "the most extraordinary human being, the greatest musician, and the most powerful influence someone has ever had over me".

For those of us who cannot afford to travel to London, let alone the price of ROH tickets, Radio 3 is scheduled to broadcast a performance on 4th June. Since I intend to attend the Leading Not Leaving rally in Swansea on that day, I shall have to trust my Evoke 3 to record it for me.

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