Schubert Ensemble

Enescu: Piano Quartets Nos. 1 & 2


  • Piano Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 16
  • Piano Quartet No. 2 in D minor, Op. 30

Performed by the Schubert Ensemble

In today’s music world, if a performance includes music by George Enscu, chances are that this music would be one of his Rumanian Rhapsodies. However, this man wrote lots of other music, and such is the case with this CD.

George Enescu was an extraordinarily gifted musician: a virtuoso violinist, a world-class conductor, an outstanding pianist, cellist, and organist – even a fine baritone. He was admired by many great musicians of his time, including the cellist and conductor Pablo Casals who described him as ‘the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart’.

To a certain extent, the musical genius and extreme versatility of Enescu ended up overshadowing his many great achievements as a composer. In his composing career, Enescu wrote five symphonies, an opera, and quite a number of pieces for chamber groups, including the two piano quartets recorded here. To this day, most of these works remain rarities in the concert hall, and they are also seldom recorded.

Enescu’s two piano quartets are highly textured, virtuosic, and they display traits characteristic of Mahler, Wagner, Fauré, and Ravel, while also remaining heavily indebted to the distinctive sound of Romanian folk music.

The members of the Schubert Ensemble know these works well. They performed a series of Enescu’s chamber works at the Wigmore Hall during 2010, including these two piano quartets. Giving more than sixty concerts a year, and having performed in over forty different countries, the Ensemble is known today as one of the world’s leading exponents of chamber music for piano and strings.

This audio CD will be released on June 28, 2011

Here is George Enescu – Piano Quartet No. 2 in D minor, Op. 30 – 1. Allegretto moderato:

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Tags: George Enescu, Piano quartets, Schubert Ensemble

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