Dora Pejacevic: Piano Concerto; Symphony
Peter Donohoe, piano; BBC SO; Sakari Oramo, conductor Chandos
Written by James Nightingale
Research into the work of minor composers of the early part of the 20th century has unearthed a few gems in recent years, and the music of the Croatian composer, Dora Pejačević is another welcome addition to the musical picture of the period. Pejačević had a privileged upbringing but was also caught up in the turbulence of the times, including nursing in the Great War, while demanding that her music be accepted on her own terms. This recording on the Chandos label brings us her only Piano Concerto and her only Symphony. These are works in the Late Romantic style, featuring more than a little bombast and a full range of emotional characters. The CD liner notes are extensive and interesting, adding greatly to the understanding of the music and Pejačević’s story. The piano playing of Peter Donohoe is precise and pleasing and the BBC Symphony Orchestra is authoritatively led by Sakari Oramo on this sparkling recording.