This vibrant program was recorded in 1977, when Dohnányi was 48. Best-known as an opera conductor, he had just taken over the Hamburg State Opera. Six years later, he succeeded Lorin Maazel as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra.
"Dohnányi is old-school, one might say, a Kapellmeister in the best sense of the word, in the tradition of other German conductors such as Böhm and Sawallisch. The Bartók is vivid and exciting and the Strauss with Buchbinder is one of the most interesting performances of this slight work I have ever heard. It captures much of the charm and playfulness of the piece. About this time Dohnányi and the VPO made audio recordings of all the Mendelssohn symphonies for Decca. The Scottish is beautifully played and lively without being hard-driven."—La Scena