Symphony Nr. 2 in A major, Op. 17

Hailed as one of the greatest Romanian composers, Enescu completed his Symphony No. 2 in A major in 1914. It has often been compared to Richard Strauss’s music for its late Romantic harmonies, dense and complex musical fabric and orchestration. In contrast with the classical four-movement symphonic mould, the 23-year-old composer wrote his symphony in three movements, omitting the scherzo. Brimming with joie-de-vivre, polyphonic in character the symphonyis an immense flow of wonderfully rich sonorities, always in motion, with vibrating layers, captivating motifs and enchanting tones and sweeping power. Only the long introduction to the finale halts the beamingly positive tone of the symphony for a while; the pounding drums create an ominous atmosphere, but in the end the dark clouds disperse, and the triumphant ending is once more full of optimism.