Schubert sonatas

Newest Releases

Piano solo and duet
  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

Some items
to consider

Free classical music concerts by Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.


Moravec - Twelfth Night Recital
15%off £17.21 (until Dec 7)

Katerina Englichová - harp
15%0ff £10.83 (until Dec 7)

  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo
  • Stellar debut<br>piano recital
  • Clarinet transcriptions Jonathan Cohler
  • Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio
  • French clarinet masterpieces
  • Today's leading<br>clarinet-piano duo

Sibelius Symphonies Maazel
4CDs + Blu-ray audio
Special Price £36.75

RVW A Sea Symphony - Elder

Shostakovich Symphony 10 Nelsons

Verdi Requiem

Dvorak Opera Premiere

Grieg, Mendelssohn sonatas




Would you like a hyperlinked weekly summary of the CDs we have reviewed?

Click for further details

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Cameo Classics
Prima voce
Red Priest
Toccata Classics

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
Classical Editor
Rob Barnett
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
   Stan Metzger
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

cover image

CD: AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download: Classicsonline

Ernst von DOHNÁNYI (1877–1960) Symphonic Minutes op.36 (1933) [14:58] Variations on a Nursery Song op.25 (1914) [24:24] Suite in F sharp minor op.19 (1908/1909) [30:18]
Eldar Nebolsin (piano)
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta
rec. Kleinhans Music Hall, Buffalo, NY 31 October–2 November 2008 (Symphonic Minutes and Suite); 6-7 February 2009 (Variations). DDD.
NAXOS 8.572303 [69:39]

Experience Classicsonline

The Symphonic Minutes (not Symphonic Miniatures, which is something entirely different) is a delightful five movement suite of very attractive music which still gets the occasional airing in public. In the days of 78s it was recorded by both Henry Wood and Oswald Kabasta – neither recording currently available – and both performances were sheerly delightful and full of fun and colour. Falletta is a conductor for whom I have a lot of time and I have enjoyed the many broadcasts of the Buffalo Orchestra, under her directorship, on WNED Buffalo. She has been the principal conductor in Buffalo for 11 years, and she has done some fine work with them – I especially remember a superb Rachmaninov 3rd Symphony a few years ago. This is a fine performance of the Symphonic Minutes, idiomatic and sensitive, with great care being taken over the interpretation. There is a real Hungarian feel to the two slow movements – the variations of the slow movement being especially soulful. There is also no lack of playfulness and, indeed, boisterousness in the three fast movements. The finale moto perpetuo will leave you breathless. This work is a riot of ideas and it’s colourful and entertaining. What’s best here is that Falletta displays a light touch and doesn’t try to make something big out of the music – she allows it to speak for itself.

The Suite is a big work insofar as it plays for half an hour, but its content is not serious. As with so much of Dohnanyi’s music, it’s very attractive and immediately appealing. Perhaps Falletta isn’t quite at home here as she is in the Minutes but it’s still a very good performance, full of good humour and the interpretation is intelligent and understanding.

The work on this disk which everyone will know is the Variations on a Nursery Song, subtitled For the enjoyment of humorous people and for the annoyance of others. I can relate to that. This is a very good performance, both Nebolsin and Falletta giving very distinguished performances, with the variations very well characterised, and Dohnanyi’s poking fun at various composers is well captured. Two little niggles: the piano is a bit too far forward and occasionally obscures some delightfully comic moments of orchestration, and the performers make slight pauses between some of the variations instead of going straight on, and this slightly disrupts the flow of the music. These, however, are small points.

It would be unfair of me not to mention that good as Nebolsin is he faces tough competition from two pianists – the great, and much missed, Julius Katchen and the composer himself. Both pianists recorded the work twice. Dohnanyi’s 1931 recording, with the LSO under Lawrence Collingwood is coupled with Mozart’s G major Concerto, K 453 with Dohnányi playing and conducting the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra (a 1928 recording), two transcriptions, for solo piano, of Strauss Waltzes and the fourth movement of the Ruralia hungarica Suite with the LSO conducted by the composer (all 1931 recordings) (Pearl GEM 018). His later recording is coupled with the Piano Concerto No. 2, both with the Royal Philharmonic, under Boult, and the Konzertstück, op. 12, played by Janos Starker with the Philharmonia under Walter Susskind (Praga 250 231).

Julius Katchen’s 1954 mono recording is coupled with Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody – both with the LPO under Boult – and his 1951 recording of the Rachmaninov 2nd Concerto with the New Symphony Orchestra under Anatole Fistoulari (Dutton CDLXT 2504). His 1959 stereo remake is again coupled with the Paganini Rhgapsody (also a stereo remake) – again both with the LPO under Boult – and his 1958 recording of the 2nd Concerto with Solti and the LSO (Decca 448 604). These are great interpretations and cannot be missed, and. From a musical point of view, these four recordings are preferable to the one under discussion here.

However, if it’s an introduction to Dohnanyi’s music, or if cost is important to you, then this Naxos issue is very good and it will give much pleasure. At the price you cannot complain.

Bob Briggs

Will give much pleasure… see Full Review


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.