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Donald R. Vroon
American Record Guide, October 2000

"It is now ten years since Marco Polo brought out their first recording of the music of Alexander Moyzes (1906-84). ...The rhythmic vitality continues into the symphonies - actually earlier works than the dance suites. The First Symphony was written at the end of his conservatory training in Prahue (1929). I like the slow movement, and especially its ending; and the Scherzo seems perfect to follow it. The first movement was reworked in 1937, reducing the folk influence. I'd like to hear the original, though I remain convinced that we must accept any composer's latest version of anything as definitive. Still, Talich liked the original and performed it to great success. The Second Symphony comes form 1932, but there were changes as late as 1941. It is as appealing as the First but seems a little more diffuse.

"The composer is worth getting to know, and since he wrote 12 symphonies we have a lot of look forward to. The next two symphonies are scheduled for October release."

Paul A. Snook
Fanfare, October 2000

"Over the course of half a century Moyzes proved himself a born symphonist in his masterful capacity for designing and maintaining large symphonic structures; the opening movements of both these symphonies are a quarter hour in length and come close to constituting self-sufficient symphonic poems. Although his symphonies comprise, as a rule, the usual four movements (the Second is an exception), Moyzes makes sparing use of conventional procedures for deploying and developing ideas. There is very little evidence of sonata-allegro in his approach; instead he adheres to a kind of rhapsodic-rondo syntax (he sometimes seems a Slovak Bax), in which originally amorphous thematic fragments and clusters (not really full-fledged themes at their inception) gradually organize themselves into recurrent refrains whose climactic interventions drive the music forward on to new and different expressive planes.

"While the 40-minute First Symphony contains the traditional Allegro-Adagio-Scherzo-Allegro sequence, the Second Symphony (composed a few years later in 1932 but drastically revised in 1941) has only two long movements, Moyzes having dropped the slow movement altogether. But both the Allegro impetuoso (15 minutes) and the Allegro marcato (20 minutes) pause for several extended reflective passages, though the second movement is dominated by an uncharacteristically steady martial tread often interrupted by seemingly tendentious interludes-again, the rondo structure. But once again Moyzes manages to marshal all these volatile materials into his own kind of coherence, ending on a magisterially triumphant note.

"This release (whose components have been waiting in the wings since 1994) is presumably the inauguration of an integral recording of all 12 symphonies. If so, Moyzes's case could not be better presented than by these forcefully enraptured readings by the eponymous Slovak Radio Symphony under the great Ladislav Slovak. The intensity of their conviction is matched by the sheer presence and immediacy of the recorded sound.

"A disc no collection of 20th-century symphony can do without. Bring on the remaining 10!"

Victor Carr, August 2000

"Alexander Moyzes (1906-84), one of the leading Slovakian composers of his generation, succeeded in creating a style of composition that was primarily Slovak in inspiration yet informed by contemporary developments in European music. He composed a small body of works, most of which are symphonies (12). Symphony No. 1 (1928) is a harmonically free work that bears the influence of Scriabin, though the slow movement indicates a more than casual acquaintance with Debussy's Sirènes. It takes a little time to recognize Moyzes' opening thematic snippets as actual melodies, but once this happens the music takes on a very satisfying shape. Right from its arresting beginning, the two-movement Symphony No. 2 (1932) is even harder to pin down thematically and tonally. The music is in that somewhat indeterminate melodic style characteristic of composers such as Eduard Tubin. It's all very compelling beneath the surface, and the listener's patience is handsomely rewarded in the finale (which features a second subject straight out of Prokofiev). Moyzes' music is engaging, well crafted, and beautifully orchestrated--qualities clearly understood and successfully conveyed by Ladislav Slovák and his Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra."

David Fanning
International Record Review, July 2000

"The intrepid Marco Polo team have exhumed yet another worthy and prolific symphonist. A pupil of Vitezslav Novak, Alexander Moyzes was a major figure in Slovak musical life, mainly as a teacher in the capital, Brataslava. He recorded 12 symphonies and reputedly succeeded in fusing Slovak national elements with contemporary European trends."

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