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Mara Gerety

In Search of the Romanian Maestro

May 28, 2007 at 5:42 PM

In which I succumb to a sudden and unexpected attack of Romania-mania

...so, long story short, I watched the Art of Violin again last night and was absolutely hypnotized by the short clip of George Enescu playing his own "Romanian Sonata" (Sonata #3.) I've been looking all over for any more recordings by him, especially of the Romanian Sonata but really anything would do. (I already have his Bach Sonatas and Partitas, I was listening to it until 1:30 AM.) I couldn't find anything obvious on Amazon, are all his recordings out of print? Do I get to go snoop around eBay in search of wonderfully dusty old vinyl LPs? Somebody please just help me find more recordings of this Romanian God of Music!!!

(Oh yes, and that's the picture I was referring to on the dinosaur thread.) ;-)

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 28, 2007 at 6:11 PM
Who needs records. Get a ouija board and you can go on a date.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 28, 2007 at 6:11 PM
He's not bad (at that time...not now!) if you like that dark, handsome, smoldering genius type...

Go try ArkivMusic.com.

From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 28, 2007 at 6:33 PM
Who *doesn't* like the dark handsome smoldering genius type? ;-)

Didn't think of ArchivMusik--thanks. I'm liking the idea of searching eBay for nice musty old records, though--it's the history buff plus the sentimentalist in me.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 2:37 AM
Another thing you might want to consider is the book "Enesco", by B. Kotlyarov. The prose is a bit chewy, but it was translated from Russian, so that might explain it. The photos are marvelous, including many reproductions of original scores, and yes, a few glamour shots too. Many fine on-line bookstores have this for very little $$$.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 3:22 AM
Oh, I'm used to reading chewy Russian prose. I didn't know that book existed, thanks!

I'm also girding myself for an early-morning bid battle on eBay tomorrow for a gorgeous, rare old copy of him playing two of his sonatas (including the "Romanian"!) with Dinu Lipatti...I probably won't get it but you never know.

From Albert Justice
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 3:50 AM
Maura shows her passion-ee ha!. ;).
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 4:28 AM
Maura, if your ebay adventure fizzles out, the Lipatti/Enesco recordings are out on CD. I don't have them. If you get them, please write a review.

Also, if you want to drop the big rubles, Montagnana Books has a 1939 Enesco autographed program for $150.00.

Also, Mr. Al, let the kid have her crush on Enesco, if she wants. She could do a lot worse, you know. And at least she isn't going on and on and on about a certain Mid-Western Super-Career violin soloist that is famous for his incessant video game playing. Ick.

From Yixi Zhang
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 4:49 AM
I'm in search of the film called "George Enescu." I saw this Romania film a few times in early 80s back in China. It was pretty much a biographic movie about Enescu’s life and music and was dubbed into Chinese. The music and the actors were all so beautiful that it was incredibly popular in China for quite a while. I believe most Chinese people 30 years or older would have found memory of this movie, whether they like violin or not. I wonder if any of you have ever seen it. I would really like to see it again.
From Mischa S.
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 12:21 PM
Hi Maura,

there's a new CD release of the Enescu/Lipatti-recordings from 2004 made in Romania. If you include the name of the record company in your google-search, you'll see plenty opportunities to buy it, though you never know, whether it's actually available there. :/ But the company at least will send it.

Additionally if you're interested in newer material about your hero, 2005 was the Enescu-year with an Enescu-symposium in Berlin, in autumn there will be a book published with all the results, essays, images etc. of it. On their site you'll find some interesting links including an interview with Gidon Kremer on Enescu.

P.S.: If you add a quotation mark (") at the end of the URL on your 1st youtube-link in the dinosaur-thread, it's repaired again. There are still so many things to be said about 20 square centimetres of nude female skin on a cover...

From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 12:53 PM
Yes, my eBay adventure has officially fizzled--some guy in Korea had apparently rigged his bidding so that every time I bid, he automatically outbid me. Being completely new to eBay and not entirely sure how it all works, I decided to give it up before I ended up bankrupting myself. Grrr. You win, Korean guy.

Glad to hear the same recordings are out on CD--they never have quite the charm of old vinyl, but it beats whacking at the computer mouse like a deranged lunatic yelling "I just placed a bid, how is it STILL outbidding me?!"

Yeah, not really interested in blowing *that* many rubles, Anna, but thanks--I've often come across the Montagnana Books website and found myself drooling over the various violinist memorabilia. ;-)

From Terez Mertes
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 1:12 PM
Great pic!
From Anne Horvath
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 1:14 PM
I don't buy stuff on ebay, but I know people that have a computer program that automatically outbids everyone else. That seems to be slightly unsporting.

I really like to browse through Montagnana Books. Those prices are pretty steep. So I have contented myself with understanding that MB is the Bein & Fuschi of Musical Ephemera. Nice to look at, but not in my price range...

From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 1:32 PM
"Unsporting" is putting it mildly. *Grumble.* Well, Korean Guy must have really, really, really wanted that record, if he went to all the trouble of hacking and rigging the program to make SURE he got it. Well, ENJOY the damn thing, Korean Guy, you bloody cheater.
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 3:20 PM
the way ebay works is if the current bid on something is say $10 and you come in and bid $75, the current bid will only change to like $11 or $12, and anybody who bids less than your $75 will get a "you've been outbid" message and the current bid will go up to a little over their bid. But if someone were to come in and bid say $100, then the current bid would go to something like $76 or $77 and they'd be the new high bidder.

So, just enter the maximum you want to spend on the item and forget about it. Do it late in the auction, like a couple minutes to go, to avoid a bidding war.

From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 4:26 PM
But in the bidding history it first showed the original guy's bid, which I bid more than. I immediately got the "outbid" message and when I looked back at the bid history, the other guy's bid *from two days ago* had gone up! It was weird, I'm just going to have to settle for a nostalgia-less CD, probably with that nasty "remastered" sound to is as well.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 4:28 PM
Wait, never mind, I get it...when it closed and the other guy won it, he'd gotten in for $45 (and the earlier bids were hovering around $15-$17.) I guess he actually bid the $45?
From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 29, 2007 at 4:57 PM
Yes. His original bid from two days ago was >= than $45. I never paid much attention to a history but what you said makes sense. Probably a new history entry only comes from a new "physical" bid. There are programs or even sites I think that will enter bids for you with seconds to go, to avoid psychologically inflating the current bid - if it's worth that to him, it's worth it to me syndrome.

Someday look into old 78s and some kind of vintage wind-up acoustic playback machine. Sounds better than you might think and is a different kind of experience. The players are cheap, like a similarly-sized piece of furniture from the same time.

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