The Enesco’s Violin Tour returned to Romania’s concert halls in the period from 18 September to 5 October 2019, with concerts in Slatina, Piteşti, Caracal, Bîrlad, Bistriţa, Timişoara, Deva, Ploieşti, and, of course, Bucharest, at the Teatrelli Hall and Radio Hall.
Gabriel Croitoru, the violinist who now has the privilege of playing the Guarneri del Gesu violin known as “The Cathedral”, which was played by Georges Enesco (made available by the Georges Enesco National Museum), and pianist Horia Mihail gave recitals at ten venues around the country, performing three sonatas that are summits of the repertoire for violin and piano, by Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, and César Franck.
Since 2012, together with the Guarneri del Gesu violin that belonged to Georges Enesco, Gabriel Croitoru has undertaken a modern version of the mission that Enesco himself undertook when he travelled the length and breadth of the country during the First World War, bringing music to the sick, the wounded, the displaced, the needy. Gabriel Croitoru won a competition to gain the right to play the Cathedral, the celebrated violin made by the great Guarneri de Gesu and now takes the unique sound of the instrument wherever it is needed, accompanied by pianist Horia Mihail.
The history of the travels of Enesco’s violin from 2012 to 2019 is highly diverse. In the early years, we broke the virgin soil of culture clubs located in some of Romania’s most isolated villages, places classical music had never reached, or visited sports halls in lycées, where children assembled in the space where they normally took their P.E. lessons, curious to hear what a famous violin sounded like. Since then Enesco’s violin has travelled in search of the Travelling Pianos left by Horia Mihail in various cities around the country, as well as visiting, of course, Radio Hall. But there have also been years when the violin has been heard to play in Beijing, London, Spain, Portugal, and the list could go on.