Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ernő Dohnányi - Piano Music Vol. 3 (Martin Roscoe)


Composer: Ernő Dohnányi
  • (01-07) Ruralia hungarica, Op. 32a
  • (08) Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, Op. 29: Theme: Rubato - Variations 1-10
  • (09-11) 3 Pieces, Op. 23
  • (12) Gavotte and Musette
  • (13) Naila Waltz (after Léo Delibes, from La source, ou Naila)
  • (14-15) 2 Waltzes of Johann Strauss

Martin Roscoe, piano
Date: 2015
Label: Hyperion



This is the third volume of Martin Roscoe’s complete Dohnányi solo piano music cycle, and with a superb disc of the two piano concertos (hopefully the Variations on a Nursery Theme will follow), to say nothing for an early disc of the two piano quintets, there is a wealth of material to delight and consider.

Dohnányi’s legendary status as a pianist, teacher and composer is confirmed not only in Roscoe’s wide-ranging programme but in performances as commanding and warm-hearted as you could wish. His most substantial offering is the Ruralia hungarica, which later appeared in a variety of forms (I recall a performance for violin and piano by Alfred Campoli). A seven-movement accumulation of Hungarian melodies and ideas, it vividly contrasts gentle musings with vigorous virtuoso ripostes. The fifth movement, of ‘rustic simplicity, delicacy and tenderness’, reminds you of how so many of Dohnányi’s piano works can cut down into teasing and affectionate encores.

The Variations on a Hungarian Theme should never have been allowed to slip out of the repertoire and the three waltz paraphrases are delicious confections, spun off by Roscoe in relaxed rather than pressured style. Here he allows you your own space, never forcing the issue, though he ends Du und Du in a blaze of ballroom light. Superb sound and presentation make this a delectable disc.

-- Bryce MorrisonGramophone

More reviews:
BBC Music Magazine  PERFORMANCE: ***** / RECORDING: *****


Ernő Dohnányi (July 27, 1877 – February 9, 1960) was a Hungarian conductor, composer and pianist. He used a German form of his name, Ernst von Dohnányi, on most of his published compositions. Dohnányi's compositional style was personal, but very conservative. His music largely subscribes to the Neoromantic idiom. Some characterize his style as traditional mainstream Euro-Germanic in the Brahmsian manner (structurally rather than the way the music actually sounds) rather than specifically Hungarian, while others hear very little of Brahms in his music.


Martin Roscoe (born 3 August 1952 in Halton, Runcorn, Cheshire) is an English classical pianist, who performs as a concerto soloist, as a recitalist and as a chamber musician. He studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music with Gordon Green and Marjorie Clementi. He has a repertoire of over 100 concertos performed or recorded. His chamber music partnerships include Peter Donohoe, Tasmin Little, Jennifer Pike and many more. Having had over 500 broadcasts, including seven BBC Prom appearances, Martin is one of the most regularly played pianists on BBC Radio 3.


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