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Best known for his Variations on a Nursery Theme for piano and orchestra, the Hungarian composer Ernö von Dohnányi also wrote two published Symphonies, two Piano Concertos and two Violin Concertos, all of which have been undeservedly neglected. The rarely heard Violin Concerto No. 1, notable for its Brahmsian slow movement, combines virtuosity and lyricism. Written in the mould of the great Romantic violin concerto, and with an unmistakably Hungarian flavour, the superbly orchestrated and remarkably inventive Violin Concerto No. 2 (1949-50) is worthy of being ranked alongside the Concertos by Barber and Korngold.
Erno Dohnanyi: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 27
I. Molto moderato, maestoso e rubato
III. Molto vivace
IV. Tempo del primo pezzo, rubato
Erno Dohnanyi: Violin Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 43
I. Allegro molto moderato
II. Intermezzo: Allegro comodo e scherzando
III. Adagio molto sostenuto
IV. Allegro risoluto e giocoso
“…an exciting, perfectly balanced, extremely engaging, kaleidoscopic adventure in music. All the playing is remarkable.”
“…the persuasive playing of the American violinist Michael Ludwig, whose silky tone, sensitivity to colour and flair for old-school 'golden-age' style are completely in tune with the music's idiom.”
“Michael Ludwig plays with abundant feeling and JoAnne Falletta directs wholly sympathetic accounts of the two orchestral scores. A satisfying and educative release, one that I would strongly recommend.”
10th May 2008
“[These concertos] have fared well on disc, particularly the Second (1949), with excellent accounts already from Janice Graham (ASV) and James Ehnes (Chandos) preceding this energetically played newcomer from American soloist Michael Ludwig.
The First Concerto (1915) gets particularly ripe treatment here, both from Ludwig and from the Scottish orchestra, and the recordings of both works are warm and generous.”
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