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Both violin concertos have four movements, the First dating from 1915. The opening theme betrays its wartime origin, sombre in its tragic implications. But the essential lyricism of the solo instrument soon takes over before returning to the mood of the start.

Listen -- Molto moderato, maestoso e rubato (Concerto No 1)
(track 1, 3:18-4:47) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

The Brahmsian variations of the leisurely finale are cunningly prepared by the sardonic Scherzo.

Listen -- Molto vivace (Concerto No 1)
(track 3, 0:00-1:11) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

In the Second Concerto (1949), the fine slow movement forms the work's emotional core. It is preceded by an Intermezzo that recalls the wit of the Nursery Variations.

Listen -- Intermezzo: Allegro comodo e scherzando (Concerto No 2)
(track 6, 0:00-1:10) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

The finale has some of the brashness Dohnányi doubtless associated with his adopted land.

Listen -- Allegro risoluto e giocoso (Concerto No 2)
(track 8, 0:00-1:28) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Michael Ludwig is a fine advocate for the two concertos, having total technical command as also a relaxed approach to the winding cantilena that Dohnányi so deftly spins for the soloist. It is a very impressive performance. It is clear that JoAnn Falletta, doughty champion of many American novelties, has admirable understanding of Dohnányi's late-Romantic idiom, allowing the music all the breathing-space it needs but underlining, too, its latent humour. The Royal Scottish National Orchestra is on splendid form, with many a telling solo line, and worthy corporate response to a composer Naxos is rightly championing.

Copyright © 8 June 2008 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt


Dohnányi: Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2

8.570833 DDD Stereo NEW RELEASE 71'24" 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Michael Ludwig, violin; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Ernö von Dohnányi (1877-1960): Violin Concerto No 1 in D minor Op 27 (1915) (Molto moderato, maestoso e rubato; Andante; Molto vivace; Tempo del primo pezzo, rubato); Violin Concerto No 2 in C minor Op 43 (1949) (Allegro molto maestoso; Intermezzo: Allegro comodo e scherzando; Adagio molto sostenuto; Allegro risoluto e giocoso)


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