The Strad Issue: January 2012
Description: Welcome recordings of rare chamber works by the Romanian composer–violinist
Musicians: Brancusi Trio
Composer: Enescu

George Enescu’s G minor Piano Trio was composed in his early teenage years and was thought lost until a set of parts recently turned up. Probably dating from the time of his studies in Vienna, where Schumann and Brahms were obvious influences, it reveals thematic material that is both fresh and engagingly individual. The players of the excellent Brancusi Trio treat the score as highly charged Brahms, with the piano of Mara Dobresco driving the outer movements forward as if the work’s origins were symphonic.

The A minor Trio comes from much later in Enescu’s life, and here the Brancusi Trio’s performance succinctly captures the esoteric qualities of the composer’s later works, with wide mood swings flowing so easily that they do not disrupt the overall shape of each movement. The influence of the French Impressionists is obvious in the quiet wash of sound and subtle rhythmic shifts, especially in the opening movement where delicacy and refinement are conveyed well by these gifted young musicians. The work’s Teutonic finale seems at total odds with the preceding movements, but throughout the Trio the composer perfectly judges and weighs the interplay between his instruments.  

This is a very well recorded and highly desirable disc, completed by the innocent charm of the little Sérénade lointaine.