Friday, January 29, 2010

Dohnanyi: Quartet in D op.15 & Piano Quintet in Eflat Op 26 No. 2


I'm pleased to be able to offer these two gorgeous, lush, yet chromatically piquant chamber works by Ernst von Dohnanyi. That they were even in their time backward rather than forward looking subtracts nothing from their innate musical value, which is considerable. Dohnanyi is pretty firmly ranked among composers of lesser importance, but his music is a treasure trove of melodic invention and craftsmanship of the highest order. If it is inspired by nineteenth century norms, it nonetheless takes them into the new century with full awareness, and the judicious, conservative utilization, of more advanced harmonic language. If his early class-mate, Bela Bartok, evolved into one of the century's most important musical creators, writing the most significant string quartets since, probably, Beethoven; still, Dohnanyi deserves a place at the table of music worth hearing. The quartet presented here lacks the emotional profundity of any of Bartok's in the same form; but it is tuneful, beautifully crafted, and invincibly lovely.

The Curtis Quartet is one group among Westminster Record's panoply of dependable musicians. Less well known than some of its contemporaries, it recorded numerous deeply satisfying performances for Westminster, the Franck Piano Quintet with the same Vladimir Sokoloff who plays in the Dohnanyi Quintet here being notable among them.

The folders posted contain both works. Tracks 1-4 being the quartet, 5-7 the Quintet. All the appropriate information is on the back CD insert.

Flac files
MP3 files
Folder with all files

11 comments:

  1. Lawrence - Very nice. I have never seen this one before. I am always amazed that I could collect records for 40 years and every day come across things I've never encountered previously.

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  2. Thanks. I know what you mean about finding new things all the time. It keeps the hunt of thrift stores always interesting.

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  3. Hi Lawrence, Thanks again! At the moment, the fourth file in the FLAC archive (which I downloaded twice) won't extract. Looks like it might have been corrupted. I'll try again in a day or so and let you know. All the best, Nick

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  4. Hi Nick. Thanks for letting me know about the problem. I downloaded it too, and it wouldn't extract the 4th file. I then recompressed the WAV files to FLAC and rezipped them, then extracted the zipped file to check it all, and it worked fine. Hopefully nothing untoward happened during the new upload. It should be fixed, but please let me know if it is not.

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  5. Many thanks for this! One of the most satisfying chamber works I have played is the first Dohnanyi quintet, and I am looking forward to hearing this one. He is, I think, unjustly written off.

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  6. Glad to be able to post it. Please let me know if there are problems extracting the reposted files.

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  7. You've fixed it, thanks so much Lawrence! Nick

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  8. The Dohnanyi Second Quartet is one of my favourite works (particularly the wonderful last movement), and this is an excellent performance of it. Thank you so much for uploading it!

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  9. Thank you so much for this! I have had this recording for many years, but have not heard it for just as many years as I thought i could never do a proper transfer justice. As a composer Dohnanyi may turn out to be much greater than we give him credit thus far; his truly major works have not been heard, with once exception. The 2nd Symphony is a true wartime work full of passion, tragedy and even humor. (Don't forget Dohnanyi lost both sons in WWII, one being a major participant in the plot to assassinate Hitler, the other captured and executed by the Russians.) The present quartet is a very deep work, the quintet a masterpiece of voice-leading, motive work and counterpoint. Again, you've done all a great service in making this available.

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  10. JMW: Thanks for your comments. Both these works are simply wonderful, and I'm glad I was able to provide a usable transfer for you.

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  11. Could I ask you to reupload the flac files? Thanks much!

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