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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ernő Dohnányi - Piano Quintet; Sextet (András Schiff; Takács Quartet)


Composer: Ernő Dohnányi
  1. Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1: 1. Allegro
  2. Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1: 2. Scherzo (Allegro vivace)
  3. Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1: 3. Adagio, quasi andante
  4. Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1: 4. Finale (Allegro animato)
  5. Sextet in C major for piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet & horn, Op. 37: 1. Allegro appassionato
  6. Sextet in C major for piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet & horn, Op. 37: 2. Intermezzo (Adagio)
  7. Sextet in C major for piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet & horn, Op. 37: 3. Allegro con sentimento
  8. Sextet in C major for piano, violin, viola, cello, clarinet & horn, Op. 37: 4. Finale (Allegro vivace, giocoso)

András Schiff, piano
Takács Quartet
Gábor Takács-Nagy, 1st violin
Károly Schranz, 2nd violin
Gábor Ormai, viola
András Fejér, cello
Kálmán Berkes, clarinet (5-8)
Radovan Vlatković, horn (5-8)

Date: 1987
Label: Decca




Here’s yet another recording that never should be out of the catalog, restored to currency thanks to Arkivmusic.com’s “on demand” program. Dohnányi’s Brahmsian First Piano Quintet is a lovely work, but the real prize here is the Sextet, a lush, lyrical, stupendously engaging work from one of the few composers who was able to express humor in his music. Here you find it in the finale, a wonderfully funny romp based on a tune that you will swear you’ve heard before. I can only assume that the curious performing forces have prevented this piece from being a repertoire staple, but it surely deserves that status. The performances are as outstanding as the music is worthy. Schiff and the Takács (and friends) know this music, understand, and project it with unflagging passion and vitality. Neither of these works is over-recorded, so if you haven’t heard them and you missed this extremely well-recorded disc the first time around, now’s your chance to experience one of the most enjoyable chamber music recitals in the catalog. [1/9/2008]

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday

More reviews:


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.


András Schiff (born 21 December 1953 in Budapest) is a Hungarian-born classical pianist and conductor. Schiff is one of the most renowned interpreters of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann. He has received numerous major awards and honors, including the Grammy Award, Gramophone Award, Mozart Medal, and Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in her 2014 Birthday Honours for services to music. Being a outspoken critic of Hungarian government, he stated in 2012 that he would never again set foot in his native country.


Takács Quartet is a string quartet, founded in Hungary, and now based in Boulder, Colorado, United States. In 1975, four students at the Music Academy in Budapest, Gábor Takács-Nagy (first violin), Károly Schranz (second violin), Gábor Ormai (viola), and András Fejér (cello) formed The Takács Quartet. Current members include: Edward Dusinberre & Károly Schranz (violins), Geraldine Walther (viola), and András Fejér (cello).


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