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Jim Svejda
Fanfare, March 2017

Nicolás Pasquet and the Pécs Symphony offer playing that is perfectly serviceable… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Steven Kruger
Fanfare, January 2017

Nicolás Pasquet and his Hungarian orchestra deliver wonderful performances. I cannot imagine the music more sensitively played, and fine 20-year-old sound needs no improvement. I look forward eagerly to the release of Lajtha’s symphonies further down the line. It’s nice to encounter for once a Hungarian composer who doesn’t beat the listener into submission with peasant boots. No goulash here. This is Palacinta! © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Des Hutchinson
MusicWeb International, December 2016

…twentieth-century Hungarian music in very good and committed performances by Nicolás Pasquet and the Pécs Symphony Orchestra, now known as the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, December 2016

The welcome series of reissues of Marco Polo recordings of the composer László Lajtha’s music continues with some of his most approachable scores, delivered in performances that make a strong case for these neglected pieces. Along with his contemporaries Bartók, Kodály and Dohnányi, László Lajtha was one of the leading Hungarian composers in the first half of the twentieth century, and while his reputation may not be the equal of his contemporaries in terms of either inspiration or influence, his music will be a revelation to many. Of his nine symphonies, Symphony No. 2, Op. 27 dates from 1938 and is an intense, sombre and brooding work as if foreshadowing the horrors of the war to come. When asked to compose incidental music for Georg Höllering’s film of T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, Lajtha responded with three autonomous compositions of which one, the monumental Variations, Op. 44 from 1948, is recorded here. © 2016 Classical CD Choice

David Hurwitz, November 2016

In memoriam is a big, powerful funeral march that takes a few minutes to get going, but once it does, proceeds memorably. Its central climaxes are aptly harrowing. The early Suite for Orchestra has four movements, including a parodistic Marche burlesque and an equally ironic Can-Can conclusion. Its Valse lente third movement is lovely, as are these performances. The Pécs Symphony Orchestral plays well for conductor Nicolás Parquet, and they are also naturally recorded in a warm, open acoustic. © 2016 Read complete review

Ralph Graves
WTJU, October 2016

The influence of folk music is closer to the surface of this work. The harmonies have a modal sound to them, and the melodic turns—especially in some of the fast passages—sound very close to Hungarian folk dances. © 2016 WTJU Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2016

The first in a complete symphony cycle from László Lajtha, one of the leading and most prolific Hungarian composers working in the first half of the Twentieth century. A student of Vincent D’Indy in Paris, it was there that he came into contact with French music, and the highly progressive atmosphere that was driving the artistic life of the city forward in the early nineteen hundreds. The First Symphony dates from 1936, but was unnumbered at the time. It is in three movements that are equally short, the work ending at around twenty minutes. He was forty-four at the time and had gained much experience in orchestration while working on film scores and stage music. We can write much in hindsight, yet we cannot avoid the streak of unease running through the outer movements that would forecast the war we find in the Second Symphony. The Suite pour orchestra comes from music he composed for the 1937 ballet, Lysistrata, its French inspiration including a quirky Marche burlesque and a Can-Can. In total contrast, In Memoriam was dedicated to the BBC who had continued broadcasting to the free world through the Second World War. It lasts more than twenty minutes and is shaped from the thoughts of sadness, anguish, fear and anger that had taken place. The recordings date from 1996 and first issued on Marco Polo, the Pecs Symphony, from the south-east of Hungary, then conducted by the German-based Nicolás Pasquet. You will have to make some allowance for its recording date, but the disc is invaluable in retaining international interest in this important composer. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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