George Enescu's Second String Quartet Op.22 in G Major: Historical and Analytical Perspectives of this Late Work
AuthorRestesan, Francisc T
Committee ChairRush, Mark
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThrough his Second String Quartet Op.22 in G-Major finished in 1954, the Romanian composer George Enescu (1881-1955) reached the peak of his compositional maturity in this chamber music genre. The quartet was the result of many years of gestation and versions as the result of his fecund musical intellect. Enescu treats freely the traditional forms in all four movements of the piece. The formal organization of the work is cyclical and the main theme that appears at the beginning of the exposition of the first movement is brought back in the reprise of the last movement in a grandiose manner, rounding up the whole piece. The unity of the thematic material throughout the work is assured by the use of sources drawn from Romanian folk music, becoming the subject for a large variety of rhythmic and melodic transformations. The use of Romanian folk elements with their typical Eastern-European modal intonations in combination with advanced western post-romantic and chromatic melodies create a verticality of mobile degrees built with added seconds, fourths, fifths and diminished sevenths. These two sources work successfully towards creating a highly complex and dramatic musical language. The presence of the B.A.C.H motive with its variants in the melodic lines, suggest the hypothesis of a discreet homage rendered to J.S. Bach on the occasion of his bicentenary of his death (1750-1950).