Laurent Albrecht Breuninger / Thomas Duis

Enescu: Complete Works for Violin/Viola and Piano

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Though he was heralded by some as being the Mozart of his day, much of the music of George Enescu goes criminally underplayed in modern concert halls. His compositional endeavors extended from very early in his life to the very end, producing works in nearly every popular genre. As a composition student, he studied with Fauré and Massenet, whose influence is clearly heard in his early works. At his heart, Enescu was also a virtuoso violinist. But unlike other virtuoso composers of his day, Enescu's works for his own instrument were never virtuosic for the sake of being showy. Rather, Enescu's considerable skills on his instrument were used as a method to communicate his rapidly developing musical ideals, particularly the Romanian and Gypsy folk music idioms. This Telos two-disc set incorporates the complete works for violin/viola and piano, of which only the Third Violin Sonata is today played with any regular frequency. Performing these dazzling, thrilling works is violinist/violist Laurent Albrecht Breuninger and pianist Thomas Duis. Both of these musicians have a clear understanding of Enescu's writing and the sophisticated development of a unique melodic and harmonic development that the composer underwent from the First Violin Sonata to the Third. Like Enescu's writing, Breuninger's playing is not flashy for the sake of showmanship, but he still brings to the table an impressively polished, confident technique. His clear and precise playing allows listeners to focus on Enescu's musical intentions rather than technical considerations. Balance between piano and violin is quite nice, and Telos' sound allows the clarity of the duo's playing to shine through. This set makes an ideal addition to any collection.

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