Magazine article Gramophone

Enescu: Symphony No 4. Chamber Symphony, Op 33

Magazine article Gramophone

Enescu: Symphony No 4. Chamber Symphony, Op 33

Article excerpt

Enescu Symphony No 4. Chamber Symphony, Op 33. Nuages d'automne sur les forets NDR Radio Philharmonie Orchestra / Peter Ruzicka CPO [F] CP0777 966-2 (62' * DDD)

Peter Ruzicka follows his pioneering disc of Enescu's Fifth Symphony and Isis (10/14) with the earlier of the Romanian's unfinished symphonies, realised by composer and musicologist Pascal Bentoiu. Likewise fully drafted, albeit with only its first movement and a third of its successor orchestrated, the Fourth Symphony (1934) yet inhabits a vastly different emotional domain--its initial Allegro evincing a visceral anguish for the most part amply conveyed by this powerful if slightly too broad reading. With its martial undertones and haunted progress, the central Andante is one of Enescu's most distinctive creations; after which the energetic final Allegro brings an emotional release that avoids any hint of triumphalism--not least in the stark defiance of its climactic bars. Ruzicka and his Hanover players assuredly have its measure, confirming the work's place among the most vital symphonies of its era (Vaughan Williams's Fourth makes for a telling comparison), though future recordings will hopefully uncover even more of the intricately heterophonie writing which is a hallmark of this music. …

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