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Len Mullenger:

Ernö DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960) Konzertstück for Cello and Orchestra, Sonata for Cello and Piano, Ruralia Hungarica for Cello and Piano   Maria Kliegel (cello); Jeno Jandó (piano) Nicolaus Esterházy Sinfonia conducted by Michael Halász. NAXOS 8.554468 [62:29]

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Dohnányi is one of those, of whom one thinks are one-work composers. In his case it is the Variations on a Nursery Song ('Twinkle, twinkle Little Star'), but of course he composed other works - not a lot because he was also a brilliant pianist and a busy and accomplished conductor.

His Konzertstück is really a full-scale cello concerto although more of a rhapsody in form. It is very accessible and melodic and it shows influences of Brahms and Late Romantics like Wagner (in fact there is a subtle reference to Walther's Prize Song from Die Meistersinger) and Richard Stauss. The Romanticism of the lovely slow central section even anticipates the sort of music Max Steiner and Korngild would be writing for the women's pictures of Holywood's Golden Age.

The Sonata is no less melodic and accessible while the Ruralia Hungarica looks back towards Brahms rather than towards Bartok.

A rewarding disc for the adventurous.


Ian Lace


Ian Lace

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