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Jim Svejda
Fanfare, May 2017

As in the first installment of this Naxos series—reissued from the recordings made for Marco Polo in the 1990s—the playing of the Pécs Symphony is as good as it needs to be but a little more. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, January 2017

I always find it gratifying to hear what would be reasonably described as a lesser known orchestra give such committed and exciting performances as these and that is what we get from the Pécs Symphony Orchestra though we should not be surprised when we learn that its 21st century incarnation continues a tradition that is over 250 years old! Few orchestras anywhere can boast of such a long pedigree. Uruguayan born conductor Nicolás Pasquet has been their chief conductor in the past and his knowledge and respect for the orchestra is mirrored in these performances. As my introduction to the music of László Lajtha I could ask for no better and it has inspired me to go away to plug more gaps by trying to get to hear more of his music including some more of his nine symphonies. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, January 2017

Is this a good introduction to Lajtha? No doubt the complete symphonic cycle is that. There is a singularity of the music on this volume and so it serves to wet one’s whistle, nicely, and sets one up with expectations for the later works. And so it is worthwhile. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Bruce Reader
The Classical Reviewer, December 2016

Lajtha shows remarkable powers of invention in this constant outpouring of orchestral ideas.

These works have an important place in our understanding of Hungarian music in the early 20th century. Bartok thought highly of him, holding the opinion that, apart from Kodály and Lajtha, Hungary ‘had no valuable composers.’ The Pécs Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Pasquet provides spirited, idiomatic performances. © 2016 The Classical Reviewer Read complete review

Records International, December 2016

This reissue series continues with the Second symphony of 1938, an intense, somber, and brooding work as if foreshadowing the horrors of war to come. Asked to compose incidental music for the film of T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” in 1948, Lajtha responded with a magnificent score, which can also be enjoyed as an autonomous composition called Variations. © 2016 Records International

David Hurwitz, November 2016

…the performance by the Pécs Symphony Orchestra under Nicolás Parquet is pretty terrific: sensitive to dynamics, firmly rhythmic, colorful and transparent. © 2016 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2016

The second of six discs that will contain the complete symphonies of László Lajtha, a prolific Hungarian composer working during the first half of the Twentieth century. He had come into contact with French music as a student of Vincent D’Indy in Paris, and that influence was still paramount in many of his early music, though the First and Second Symphonies reflected his experiences in the First World War and were a warning of the dire consequences of further conflict. Without the stark impact of Shostakovich, it had all of the intentions of his Russian counterpart, its three movements only lasting thirty minutes, yet the brutality of the outer movements is frightening even today. In the unearthly atmosphere of the central slow movement, I can visualise the uneasy calm before a fresh onslaught on the soldiers sheltering in trenches. The Variations were composed in London in 1947, Lajtha having been invited to stay for a year in comfortable surroundings, while he composed the backdrop music for the film Murder in the Cathedral. The relaxed circumstances were reflected in a score of ingenuity, and of various moods, that reflected the events. In the event the film won many awards, with Lajtha’s score of symphonic length being much praised. The recording dates from 1995 and first issued on Marco Polo, the Pecs Symphony, from the south-east of Hungary, conducted by the German-based Nicolas Pasquet. The playing is colourful and full of impact in the Symphony, the recording imparting a slightly hollow sound to the upper strings, but good for its time. © 2016 David’s Review Corner

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