This disc of three of Ernst von Dohnányi's most popular orchestral works played by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic is very nice as far as it goes and is well worth hearing by listeners interested in the Hungarian-American composer or the provincial American orchestra. One cannot fault the conducting; Falletta clearly has something to say and the technical mastery to say it. Nor can one fault the Buffalo Symphony, which hasn't sounded this polished, proficient, and passionate since Michael Tilson Thomas led it in the early '70s. And while the music could be described as backwards looking, or less charitably, as reactionary, it is superbly composed from a technical point of view and heartfelt from an expressive point of view. This disc may not go far enough toward super virtuoso performances or cutting-edge composing, but both the performers and the composer are doing the best within their limits. Pianist Eldar Nebolsin turns in a rousing and effective account of the solo part in the Nursery Rhyme Variations.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Symphonic Minutes, Op. 36|
|Variations on a Nursery Song, Op. 25|
|Suite in F sharp minor, Op. 19|