New Buffalo Philharmonic recording spotlights forgotten Hungarian composer

Posted on: June 9, 2010

In Tuesday’s (6/8) Buffalo News, Mary Kunz Goldman writes, “With a new CD on the Naxos label, JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra are conjuring up a glamorous ghost: the Hungarian composer Erno Dohnanyi. Referred to more often by scholars as Ernst von Dohnanyi, the German form of his name he signed to his manuscripts, Dohnanyi lived a tempestuous life. At the start of the 20th century, he was one of Europe’s most renowned piano virtuosi. World War II brought tragedy to his life. His son Hans von Dohnanyi was hanged along with Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer for their plot to assassinate Hitler. … Until his death in 1960, this figure of Old World gentility taught quietly in Tallahassee, Fla. He was forgotten, and most of his music was, too. … Recorded live in Kleinhans Music Hall, the BPO’s Dohnanyi disc features ‘Variations on a Nursery Song,’ a witty, romantic piano concerto based on ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,’ with pianist Eldar Nebolsin. It also includes the ‘Symphonic Minutes’ and the 1909 Suite in F sharp minor. Falletta had already recorded Dohnanyi’s violin concertos for Naxos, with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BPO Concertmaster Michael Ludwig. The new disc puts her, and the BPO, in the forefront of a Dohnanyi renaissance.” Erno Dohnanyi’s grandson is conductor Christoph von Dohnanyi, for many years music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, among others.

Posted June 9, 2010