Among the highlights at this year’s George Enescu classical music festival was a recital by Israeli violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov with Vag Papian at the piano, performing César Franck’s Sonata for violin and piano in A major.
The Grammy-award winning violinist had nothing but praise for Enescu.
“He was just a great spirit, among other thing his teaching abilities were probably the greatest, because he has produced a whole generation of violonist like Yehudi Menuhin, Ida Haendel, Arthur Grumiaux and a whole generation that inspired another generation,” said Vengerov.
Catalan maestro Jordi Savall returned to Enescu after ten years. The famed conductor, viol player and composer said he particularly enjoyed performing before the attentive audience of Bucarest.
“The people are really listening to the music and listening in a very intensive way and also with a great sensibility. They are very warm, and I think this, for a musician, is the best we can have when doing a concert,” he said.
Savall gave two performances, one with his “Le Concert des Nations”, whose repertoire spans Baroque to Romanticism, the other with his Hespèrion XXI ensemble, which uses historical instruments and is known for improvising around the structure of early 16th and 17th century pieces.
Moldovan-Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja performed a violin concerto by contemporary Hungarian composer György Ligeti. She says her repertoire is mostly composed of contemporary music.
“This is the core of what we artists should do,” she said after the concert, “we should care about contemporary music. Next time – if they invite me again – I would like to play contemporary music of people here and also with young students.”
Among the celebrated ensembles closing the event was the Dutch Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Daniele Gatti, with Romania’s award-winning Liviu Prunaru at the violin, who performed pieces by Carl Maria von Weber, George Enescu and Sergei Prokofiev.
Held every September in honour of the celebrated Romanian composer, the George Enescu festival is one of the biggest classical music events of its kind in Eastern Europe.