Beautiful sweeping melodic lines
Karl S. Fredrickson | Seattle, WA USA | 04/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like Hyperion's other releases in this series, Dohnanyi's works are not often heard since his compositions were too "behind the times" stylistically to receive much attention when they were written. The other side of this coin, and also much like Hyperion's other releases, is that these pieces are of astonishing quality and it is a real shame that so few people get to hear them.
However, I feel that the pieces on this CD are truly unique even when compared with some of the best of the other neglected late romantic piano concertos. In many such pieces (such as, for instance, the Scharwenka and Sauer or Busoni releases) the virtuosity demanded from the soloist is one of the main attractions. Dohnanyi was one of the best pianists of his day and no doubt there is plenty of virtuosity written into the score, of which the soloist Martin Roscoe is very capable. But it is almost like Dohnanyi has transcended any interest in virtuosity for its own sake. Instead, the orchestral and solo parts are seamlessly woven together as only the most mature and experienced composer could do. They cooperate to create intricate, delicately shaded music that is a real joy to listen to. It is almost impossible to discern when one melodic line stops and another begins. As an example, the last few minutes of the 2nd Piano Concerto consist of a rhythmically irresistible sequence of chords on the piano that meander everywhere harmonically but make perfect sense to the ears, and it seems Dohnanyi could have continued indefinitely if he so desired. The piano and orchestra part is eventually joined by a broad melody played by the horns which is being played about 16 times slower than the accompaniment but fits perfectly. Comparing this passage alone to the same length of music by any other composer, it's hard to think of a more impressive achievement."
AN ABSOLUTE JOY
E. Smith | Tucson, AZ | 12/26/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I greatly appreciated the first review of this album. The first concerto is not particularly that enjoyable to my ear. However, what stands out is the second piano concerto! I fell in love with this concerto in the 1950's when I purchased a recording with the composer himself playing the piano. I believe it was on the Angel label.
Just prior to writing this review I listened to the whole concerto and then played the last movement 6 times. This review is written from a very emotional standpoint only. To my ear the second piano concerto is one powerfully beautiful piece of music which I go back to quite often."