2020
52,943 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider



£11 post-free anywhere
(currently suspended)


TROUBADISC

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Bruno Monteiro (violin)


More Preludes to Chopin
Kenneth Hamilton (piano)


Review
Special Price and we are still delivering


Recordings of the Month

April

Feinberg Piano Sonatas


Schoenberg Violin Concerto


Early Keyboard


Nun Danket Alle Gott
Now Everyone Thanks God

March


Haydn Scottish Songs


Choral Music


Liszt Sonata


Renaissance Bohemia

February


Hahn Complete Songs


Piano Sonatas 6,7,8 Osborne


Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ernő DOHNÁNYI (1877-1960)
Ruralia Hungarica Op.32a (1923) [29:59]
Humoresken in Form einer Suite Op.17 (1907) [26:34]
Pastorale on a Hungarian Christmas Song (No Op.) [6:37]
Valentina Tóth (piano)
rec. 2018, Westvest Church, Schiedam, The Netherlands
CHALLENGE RECORDS CC72775 [63:10]

Ernő Dohnányi’s conservative compositional style has kept his name at a lower profile to fellow Hungarians such as Bartók and Kodály, and pianist Valentina Tóth tells us that she only encountered his piano works relatively recently. “Romantic, virtuoso, and incredibly well written for the instrument”, the Ruralia Hungarica is full of melodies that Hungarian natives should recognise. Dohnányi referred to Bartók and Kodály’s collection of folk melodies collected in the field when putting together this seven-movement suite, and these tunes are given a variety of adaptations, the composer turning them into gentle nocturne-like pieces or applying lively Hungarian dance rhythms. The result is a great mixture of Hungarian character and romantic pianistic fireworks played with panache and élan by Ms Tóth.

Ruralia Hungarica has appeared in numerous guises, including orchestral and chamber music versions with violin or cello. Of the piano version, alternative recordings include extracts played by the composer (review), and Martin Roscoe’s recording on the Hyperion label (review), part of a complete Dohnányi edition, has to be worth a listen though I don’t have a copy for comparison.

The set of Humoresken was written a decade and a half earlier, and have little or no folk-music association. Brahms is cited as an influence, and characteristics in the writing and harmonic colours indeed bring the elder master frequently to mind. Earlier musical forms are referred to, such as a fierce Toccata and an initially lyrical Pavane, and while the humoresque title indeed indicates a light feel to this suite there are plenty of darker minor-key contrasts. Dohnányi cleverly weaves a tribute to Brahms into the variations of the Pavane, quoting the tune Gaudeamus Igitur used in the Academic Festival Overture, and the final Introduction and Fugue is excellent.

The final Pastorale on a Hungarian Christmas Song uses a carol ‘The angel from heaven’, building from a gentle opening through some intriguing harmonic progressions into something quite impassioned, before returning to the tranquillity of the beginning.

Well recorded and performed with skill and superb musicianship, this is an attractive disc of some less frequently heard piano repertoire from a great but under-appreciated 20th century Hungarian.

Dominy Clements

Previous review: Jim Westhead



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage



Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger