'... the Buffalonians ... make their virtuosity seem almost effortless ...'
The 1914 Variations on a Nursery Song by Ernö Dohnányi (1877-1960) follow in the steps of the German/Russian 'romantics', leavened with an unfailing facility at incorporating arresting Respighian tone-colour, revealing an irrepressible art for creating 'Classical' style variations.
Dohnányi was never one to be straight-jacketed within a single musical idiom. Thus the subject and form of 'Variations on a Nursery Song' appeals to a diverse audience (Mozart knew the theme as Ah! vous dirai-je, Maman; he came up with 12 Variations in C major, K265, 1778) for its high spirits and compositional virtuosity.
What's more it delves into the subconscious and surfaces with sidelong links to 'Baa, baa, black sheep' and 'Twinkle, twinkle, Little star'...
Copyright © 25 October 2010
Masterton, New Zealand