I’ve featured the Romanian Rhapsody #1 by Georges Enescu in this space several times, because it’s just such a lovable showpiece or orchestral magic, with its collection of drinking songs and folk dances creating such a brilliant bit of youthful energy. But obviously the existence of a Romanian Rhapsody #1 implies the existence of a Romanian Rhapsody #2, does it not?
The second of Enescu’s two Romanian Rhapsodies is a more lyrical, songlike work. There is not nearly as much dance energy in this work, but it’s still a gorgeous listen that I honestly find hard to believe I’ve never much engaged before. The work even ends on a quiet, peaceful feel, rather than the final burst of energy that closes out the Rhapsody #1.
Enescu himself was apparently less than enthusiastic about the way his two Rhapsodies became as beloved as they did: they were so popular that they drowned out a great deal of his other work. Enescu deserves to be heard more than for just the two Romanian Rhapsodies, that much is clear. But…sometimes we just have to listen to them anyway!
Here is the Romanian Rhapsody #2 by Georges Enescu.