Notes and Editorial Reviews
This highly entertaining Eloquence release returns to the catalog Dohnányi's Variations on a Nursery Song in a blazing performance by András Schiff with Georg Solti leading a revved-up Chicago Symphony. The orchestra makes a meal of Dohnányi's vibrant, colorful, and brass-rich writing (it plays the wonderfully campy and portentous introduction for maximum dramatic impact), while Schiff boldly shows off his stunning pianism at every turn.
Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations is an original and highly imaginative work that hurls all manner of musical styles and orchestral effects at everyone's favorite little theme--it's a real audience pleaser that should be heard more often, especially if it's played with
such wit and bravura as Peter Jablonski, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Royal Philharmonic bring to it. The same team also offers a Rachmaninov Paganini Rhapsody (the one warhorse in the collection) that goes more for polish than for all-out passion and showmanship.
The remastered Decca recordings sound lucid and fully present, with nice depth. The 1950s mono Liszt Totentanz is obviously less impressive sonically, but not drastically so. Besides, the virtuoso performances by Peter Katin, Jean Martinon, and the London Philharmonic of this delightfully vulgar music are so enthralling that you quickly forget about the sound. Enthusiastically recommended.
--Victor Carr Jr, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Totentanz, S 126 by Franz Liszt
Peter Katin (Piano)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1849/1859; Weimar, Germany
Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Sergei Rachmaninov
Peter Jablonski (Piano)
Royal Philarmonic Orquestra
Written: 1934; USA
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