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Harry van der Wal
Harry’s classical music corner, March 2017

…Zador is a versatile and creative composer we know from the first volume in this series, and from thereon there is no disappointment in terms of music that doesn’t have a high standard, for everything that is recorded so far shows clear signs of an excellent grasp of counterpoint and a knack for ideas and melodic lines. His palette is a rich one, and the musical food tasty to a point of ecstatic heights.

The recording is really very good, …sound and performance is superb. Recommended. © 2017 Harry’s classical music corner Read complete review

Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, November 2013

…evocative and often wistful works, many with a vestigial Hungarian flavor… © 2013 Fanfare

Raymond Tuttle
Fanfare, July 2013

I truly enjoyed the music on this CD…

The Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV…do first-class, enthusiastic work on this CD; they seem to be enjoying themselves. I can’t imagine any other orchestra playing this music better. Oboist Hadady has a big, round, and attractive tone that adds to the appeal of the oboe concerto. One might say these performances are always right on track. If you like Rózsa, in all his musical incarnations, I think this CD will give you a lot of pleasure. I know it did that for me. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Film Music: The Neglected Art, March 2013

Naxos has introduced a second volume of Zador using the same orchestra and conductor with nothing short of spectacular results.

If you’re interested in the works of Rozsa, both classical and film, this will be a welcome addition to your library. The Budapest Symphony is right at home with this material as the notes flow seamlessly. © 2013 Film Music: The Neglected Art Read complete review

David Hurwitz, March 2013

This second volume in Naxos’ ongoing series contains four excellent pieces…

As with the previous release in this series, the performances are excellent. The orchestra plays with enthusiasm; this is quality music that’s evidently a lot of fun to play. Mariusz Smolij conducts as though he’s been performing these pieces forever, and the engineering is top-notch. Another terrific disc from Naxos, whose evident intent to record everything in the universe really pays off here. © 2013 Read complete review

Christie Grimstad, February 2013

These works have a 20th century flair of richness and formality, yet they teeter with melodic and atonal edging. The music is eclectic: solo flute’s introductory bars of the “Elegie” brings to mind Frederick Delius along with occasional tinctures of Debussy, Puccini and Zemlinsky as the composition progresses, but this is contrasted with more enlightening qualities in the conclusive “Dance.” The Divertimento for Strings, probably the most-performed of all pieces within Zádor’s fecund catalogue, has foundations of the Hungarian man’s past: Bartókian impressions run strongly through each of the three movements.

Zádor’s Studies for Orchestra is comprised of eight separate musical dialogues. The sections are so varied that it almost translates into a modernistic Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. Portions are frequently acrid, but at the same time, they demonstrate Eugene Zádor’s fascinating exercise into what the human mind can create using a potpourri of instruments and unexpected techniques. The coloring is a patchwork of experimentation. One example: whimsical jazz winds its way into the sixth movement (“Song: Allegretto”) that moves into a weighted dirge-like “Crescendo-Decrescendo: Moderato.” Saved for last, this Studies for Orchestra is highly complex, sophisticated and not for the faint at heart…clever and uneasy.

The Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV, under the direction of Mariusz Smolij, handles Eugene Zádor’s music with respect and admiration. © 2013 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2013

Born in Hungary in 1894, Eugene Zador was one of many central European emigrants who worked tirelessly in Hollywood making other names famous.  He was among those who had the skill to turn the work of ‘tunesmiths’ into the orchestral backdrops of the great motion pictures through from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. Most were never even credited at the end of the film, the ‘tunesmith’ taking the full honours. That could have been the end of the Zador story, apart from the fact that he was so prolific he continued to add to the wealth of music he had composed before he left a troubled Europe for life in the United States. ‘A middle of the road extremist’ was a self-description, his style of composing derived from student days with Heuberger in Vienna and Reger in Leipzig, his eventual catalogue including four symphonies, several operas and chamber music. Though his orchestral works captured the attention of major conductors and orchestras, it has sadly fallen into oblivion. Seemingly most happy writing music of cameo length, the Studies for Orchestra, is an extended score constructed from eight pieces of varying moods used to display various orchestral departments. Maybe he was also a musical magpie, with influences as diverse as Bartok, Weill and Holst, but this engaging score can hardly fail to give pleasure. Equally easy on the ear, and straight from a romantic movie, comes the Oboe Concerto, and you need to move to the three movements of the Divertimento for Strings, composed in 1954, to hear a really gifted ‘classical’ composer at work. The Elegie and Dance from the same year, completes this disc admirably played by the Budapest orchestra conducted by Mariusz Smolij. The soloist is the highly regarded Hungarian oboist, Laszlo Hadady, his career concentrated on France where has been for many years the principal of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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