Franz Liszt was the greatest pianist of his generation, a renowned composer, and one hell of a nice guy. His contributions to the symphonic poem influence composers to this day. They just renamed the Budapest Airport after him.
George Enescu was a composer, conductor, violinist, and explorer of folk music. The list of his violin students is mighty impressive (Menuhin, Grumiaux, Haendel, Ferras). The village in Romania where he is born is now called George Enescu.
A Rhapsody is an episodic, free-flowing work that does not necessarily adhere to any formal structures. It is a favorite compositional style of the Romantic period, as unrequited love and tragic heroism also do not follow any formal structures.
Liszt wrote 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies for piano, six of which were arranged for orchestra by Franz Doppler with revisions by Liszt himself. The most famous of the bunch is the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2. Enescu wrote two Romanian Rhapsodies for orchestra, the Romanian Rhapsody no. 1 being the more popular one. This will essentially be a BCS-type clash between #1 and #2. Continuing in the spirit of the BCS, Alfven’s sublime Swedish Rhapsody #3 has legitimate complaints about its omission from the contest and may file an antitrust lawsuit. Continue reading