As a composer, Enescu’s published output was relatively modest, though it contained some substantial works. The fact that the three symphonies were composed between 1905 and 1918 might suggest - wrongly- that his interest in the genre was not great and lasted for less than fifteen years.
As a student he was a prolific composer and began work on his first symphony (unnumbered) in 1894; two more followed in 1896 and 1898. Three movements of another survive from 1895. His first numbered symphony (Op 13) was not completed intil 1905. By the 1920s the mature synthesis of sophisticated chromaticism and thematic transformation of Romanian folk inflections had emerged. It is to this period that the Third Symphony, completed in 1921, belongs.
Although he was profoundly influenced by European art music, Enescu never lost touch with Romanian musical traditions, and in a series of works not only evoked that tradition, but went beyond it to produce a unique fusion of two cultures. The two Romanian Rhapsodies of 1901 are by far the best known of Enescu’s orchestral works in this style. Although they are immensely attractive, he found them somewhat irritating and tended to disparage them. Some of the themes are folk songs and others are Enescu’s own invention, drawing on modal scales and the typical melodic patterns of his native music.
"...Chandos’s recording is quite superb." Bill Newman - Hi-Fi News & Reviews - November 1998
"... the engineers provide a wonderfully luxuriant ambiance to match Enescu’s lush textures. The BBC Philharmonic are on fine form too, coping very effectively with the work’s technical hurdles ... Rozhdestvensky has to be the preferred option for the Symphony." Erik Levi - Classic CD - September 1998
"...Exciting playing, as ever, from the Philharmonia, with Rozhdestvensky keeping a taut rein on proceedings." **** The Scotsman - 26 June 1998
T. Rübenacker in Scala Nr. 6 / 98: "Ein Riesenorchester
mit Klavier, Celesta, Harmonium und am Ende sogar einem
Chor wird in einerseits strenge, andererseits sinnliche
Form gegossen. Die vorzüglichen Musiker spielen zwar
sehr diszipliniert, aber dennoch warm, mit gutem Gespür
für das in siebenbürgischer Folklore wurzelnde