by Noel Malcolm
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 All of Enescu’s published compositions, and many unpublished works, are discussed, and there is a detailed list of Enescu’s compositions and a list of all his known recordings as conductor, violinist and pianist. The book is intended for the non-specialist reader as well as the musicologist. NOEL MALCOLM, the historian, philosopher and journalist, is the leading authority on Enescu.