Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Dohnanyi, von Ernst. (1877-1960) Piano Concertos 1 and 2.

From my collection.
Bought in 2010.
First listen: 24 and 31 of June 2010.
Second listen: 9-4-2014.
Third listen: 21-3-2017.
Label: Chandos Classics.
Recording dates: 2001 and 2004.
Recording venue: Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, England.
Recording engineer: Stephen Rinker.
Running time: 72:25.
Classical relevance to me: Well worth having.

Works.

Piano concerto N0.1, opus 5 in E minor, and N0. 2, opus 42 in B minor.

Performers.

Howard Shelley, Piano.
BBC Philharmonic, Matthias Bamert.

Dohnanyi was never a modern composer, but he stood more in the post Brahmsian tradition, and lived quite happily there until the end of his life. Not so much a anachronism, as a composer that kept to a tradition that had enough possibilities, and he used it wisely. Dohnanyi was a romantic composer by heart, and these piano concertos tell a truly committed story. His music can stand alongside such luminaries like Rachmaninoff,  Korngold or even Richard Strauss, without having to be embarrassed about what he produced, even at that time this romantic idiom was totally outdated, as Kodaly and Bartok would like us to believe. Well I do not believe, and so am enjoying these pillars in the romantic tradition, played with passion and commitment, and recorded in a warm yet detailed acoustic.  His style is less connected with his birth country Hungary, but has a cosmopolitan twist, that is much broader as a nationalistic background. The very basis however for these piano concertos is Brahms all the way, and to match or improve on his concertos is an act of excellence in itself.  He could say new things in a time honoured language, and for this I am grateful. Recommended.





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