Hungary for Dohnányi?


Classical Academy | Composers | Around the World | Dohnányi

 

Alongside goulash and hungarian schnapps, the composer Ernő Dohnányi is one of Hungary's finest exports. Born on 27 July 1877, Dohnányi was also a conductor and pianist, as well as a composer. He became famous performing Beethoven's "Piano Concerto No.4", giving concerts in Berlin, Vienna and London before making a tour of the USA. As a conductor he championed the works of fellow composer Béla Bartók. He spent many years living in Berlin, Germany, but still returned regularly to Hungary to organise concerts - sometimes over 100 concerts per year.

 

Unlike many other composer-performers - for instance Franz Liszt or Frédéric Chopin - Dohnányi did not only compose works for solo piano. He is particularly beloved today among chamber music lovers for his two Piano Quintets, three String Quartets and his Sextet for Piano, Strings and Winds. The Piano Quintet in C minor was the first of his works to be published and Johannes Brahms admired the composition so much that he promoted the work in Vienna. It isn't hard to see why Brahms liked it so much - in turns luscious and lively, Dohnányi has a way of giving each voice an individual character. Take a listen to some of his works below and try not to break out into dancing a "czardas"!