Constantin Silvestri (1913-69) is best-remembered as a conductor, in his final years of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, with which he recorded, as he also did with ensembles in Paris, London and Vienna.
He found time to compose. There are, I think, a couple of String Quartets (which would be new to me) and here from Luiza Borac is his Complete Piano Works. In terms of time it plays (here) for just under 150 minutes; in terms of ambition the longest movement lasts close on ten, just one of forty-five Silvestri tracks, embraced by Suites, a Sonata breve, and collections such as Danses populaires roumaines de Transylvanie, Silvestri treading his native soil, if not arriving as spicily as in Bartók’s transcriptions of similar material.
For all the relative brevity, albeit a long listen if taken as one meal, there is much that is attractive and varied, and there is no doubting Silvestri’s imagination and skilled writing – seized upon with relish and dedication by Borac, very well recorded; a labour of love for her one imagines.
Also included are first recordings – “2 Piano Pieces” by György Kurtág (respectively from 2010 and 2017), spare as to notes used, compelling in terms of expression; and the said-to-be unfinished first movement (but it comes to a full stop) of a Piano Concerto in D-minor by George Enesco (1881-1955) – Silvestri made a fabulous version of Enesco’s Romanian Rhapsody No.1 with the Vienna Philharmonic – and whatever plans Enesco had for his Concerto as a whole, I think this torso leaves little doubt that they were epic and romantic. Rossen Gergov conducts the National Radio Orchestra Bucharest in this live account. Profil PH20028 (2 CDs).