Enescu isn't a terribly well known composer. Perhaps that is because he composed relatively little (his complete orchestral works fill all of five CDs), although his opus one was published when he was 17 (Poème Roumain for large orchestra and wordless chorus; it has to be heard to be believed) and he lived to be 74. He had a very busy life as a violinist, teacher and conductor, but there were many more musicians who would have ideally needed two lives to pursue all their objectives who composed much, much more (Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mozart come to mind). Neither is the quality of his work wanting. The rhapsodies, suites, cello concerto and Poème Roumain on this twofer offer 157 minutes of exhilarating late romantic music, brimful of ideas, brillianty orchestrated (and, as far as I can tell, very well executed and recorded, although careful listening reveals a splice here and there). On the website of The International Enescu Society I found the following explanation:
"The explanation? The real explanation, not the usual ones due to more or less circumstantial elements? There is but one. Enescu's most important works are all displaying an unusual amount of musical information and density.
They are difficult, they are - so to speak - too difficult for the conditions reigning our days' concert halls. In order to be fully understood, they demand to be listened to over and over again, something that is only rarely possible, they demand an extremely high amount of time, energy and commitment from the interpreters (and interpreters nowadays are quite in a bit of a hurry). In short, Enescu's music is therefore asking for a loving approach, for true commitment and almost for a credo from both its musicians and its public. But after piercing through the hard skin, one is rewarded by the incomparable sweetness of the fruit. An aroma that one isn't likely to ever forget."
Although the wording is slightly awkward, there may be something in this, but why do we accord Mahler, whose works after all want repeated listening before they reveal their fruity aroma (?), this high amount of time and energy and commitment, and not Enescu?
I'm sure that if you like Mahler, the early Bartók, Shostakovich, Richard Strauss, Novák and the like, you will also relish Enescu. Together with its companion CD which contains the symphonies (and, in an earlier incarnation, Vox Maris) Enescu: Three Symphonies - Violin Sonata No 3, the financial investment is inconsequential, but will yield ever greater dividends with every time you listen to his wonderful music.