When I get melancholic about what used to be my home I like to listen to these rhapsodies. I associated them with the movement and sound of water until I found out that the music was inspired by Romanian traditional folk songs and dances. I thought that maybe George Enescu wrote these compositions when he was thinking of Danube before it had emptied in the Black Sea.
Both rhapsodies have vivid and cheerful melodies. Their rhythm intensifies when instruments are gradually introduced and slows down in some places. You don’t have to be familiar with the Romanian folklore to enjoy them. You will quickly find out how beautiful and unique they are.
The first rhapsody is more famous than the second. Enescu composed it when was only 19 years old. He was a musical prodigy and had been often compared with Mozart. The Romanian Rhapsodies have been around for over a hundred years and were played around the world. If you haven’t heard them yet, here they are.
Rhapsody No. 1 in A Major – conducted by Enescu himself in 1955
Enescu conducted the First Rhapsody at what proved to be his New York farewell concert with members of the New York Philamornic on 21 January 1950. (Wikipedia) https://youtu.be/qZUsvQbTn_o
Rhapsody No.2 in D Major – https://youtu.be/Y_GZW_kC-aQ
Featured Image: Danube River (Iron Gates, Serbia-Romania) by Pudelek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons