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George Enescu, a genius born from the faith in God and the family love

Faith in God represents, without question, the engine that sets in motion the daimon of creativity living inside artists, and the most famous Romanians who made us proud through their works declared, in memoirs and in interviews, their love for the supreme Creator. The best example is the composer George Enescu (August 19th, 1881 – May 4th ,1955), a great Romanian, who loved God, loved his country, his wife, and the proof of the strong emotions that urged him to create lies in his exceptional compositions, for which he is appreciated worldwide. “I served my country only with my weapons: the pen, the violin and the baton”, Enescu eagerly declared.

George Enescu, or little Jurjac – as the family nicknamed him – , was born in Liveni – Vîrnav village, in Botoşani, and this wonder kid knew from the age of five that he wanted to become a composer. The Romanian genius showed us much more than that: he was, besides an exceptional composer, a virtuoso of the violin, a pianist, a conductor and an appreciated pedagogue.

The habit of honouring God has been inoculated on little Jurjac from infancy, as the family members were people of God: his grandparent, Gheorghe Enescu, was a former priest, who had the voice of an angel, according to the contemporary testimonies. The faith in the Creator of all things, as well as the talent for music were inherited by little Enescu. Likewise, his father was gifted with notable musical skills, being sent by his parents to the Socola Seminar (also attended by the famous Romanian storyteller Ion Creangă). However, George Enescu’s father discovered that the priesthood clothing did not match his personality and he decided to become a teacher, afterwards taking over the position of estate administrator. But, George’s talent was about to exceed the limits set by his family members.

George Enescu, the Romanian that changed the face of music

George Enescu, the Romanian that changed the face of music Photo: newsic.fr

Childhood, a defining period for little Enescu

The childhood of the little genius was a quite ”restricted” one, because the joy of his birth collided with his parents’ fear of losing him too (all his eleven brothers died at birth or during their first years of life).

“If I would dare to complain, I would just say that I was not a spoiled child, but a child adored up to excess, up to suffocation. (…) When I think about my childhood, I feel around me the frightened vigilance in which I was raised. I was protected from the smallest dangers, at the first alarm they were trembling for me. I grew up faster in this suffocating and tensioned greenhouse warmth. And, if today I am a hypersensitive man, kind of skinned alive man, I think the reason can be found looking back to my childhood”, the composer confessed to the musical critic and radio journalist Bernard Gavoty.

An immortal spirit: George Enescu

An immortal spirit: George Enescu

Furthermore, swept by the fear of losing Jurjac also, his mother, Maria, became even more faithful and carried on all the rituals, but also the “empirical” habits. Before the baby’s birth, she passed beneath the altar all the clothes the baby would wear and, after he came into this world, the cautious mother did not leave anyone get near the baby, the relatives knowing the little one only by looking from the outside, through the window. Likewise, the first years of life of the family’s only child were poor in playmates. “Mom cared for me with worship. My mere indisposition would make her fall in for fear and pain”, the composer also remembered.

The entire daily existence of the Enescu family was governed by faith in God, which was felt by everyone around them. The villagers cared a lot for George’s father, Costache being a very generous person: on feast days he would offer free meals to poor people, he would send aids to hospitals and prisons, and when harvesting, after milling, the landholder would ensure everybody a hearty meal. The composer was a witness to all of these proofs of generosity, his personality being thus influenced by the family’s gestures.

A child prodigy of amazing skill

God gifted the child George Enescu with remarkable abilities, in this context, the agnomen of genius-child being attributed for good reason. Thus, Jurjac had an amazing hear, an astonishing mind (it was enough for him to hear a song only once, to easily reproduce it and, at manhood, he could direct the entire work of the composer Richard Wagner and could sing by heart no less than 62 Bach volumes), plus he had an excellent visual memory (right after seeing a part, he would “store” it in his mind). Moreover, Enescu knew to read, write and count from the age of four, he knew all the musical notes by five, he was making paintings and drawings at six and he was talking English, French and Germany at 9 years old (!).

The composer’s parents noticed his inclination for music and gave him a small violin with three strings. With a most admirable lucidity specific to the man who knows his vocation, the future creator of the Romanian Rhapsody, threw the toy on fire, being upset on his parents for not taking him seriously and for not getting a real violin. From the moment the little man received his first real violin, the whole world kneeled before this genius man, the Viennese critics nicknaming him “the Romanian Mozart” – at no more than 11 years old, George Enescu stepped on the stage of Bösendorfer hall in Vienna, the moment when he proved how well he handled the violin and the piano.

Over the years, success crowned the activity of George Enescu, his sensitive nature and the noble emotions inoculated by his family influencing his entire life path.

The great Romanian composer met his Creator in the night of May 3 or 4, 1955, after suffering for a year, in Paris, due to a brain congestion, followed by partial paralysis.

Raluca Băncioiu

Raluca Băncioiu

She's a graduate of the MA program in Translation of the Contemporary Literary Text. She's an optimistic person and a true familist
Raluca Băncioiu

Ultimele postari ale lui Raluca Băncioiu (vezi toate)

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