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Ralph Graves
WTJU, August 2017

Nicolás Pasquet and the Pécs Symphony Orchestra have a lock on this material. The ensemble has an expansive sound that gives Lajtha’s music real emotional weight. © 2017 WTJU Read complete review

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, June 2017

LAJTHA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 (Pécs Symphony, Pasquet) 8.573645
LAJTHA, L.: Orchestral Works, Vol. 4 (Pécs Symphony, Pasquet) 8.573646

How often is it that music that is carefree, even jolly, was written at a time, when both the composer and his country were going through traumatic and turbulent times, as if the composer was trying his best to keep his spirits and those of his countrymen up, despite the reality of their lives? That is certainly the case with Lajtha’s ‘Spring’ symphony, composed after the composer had been removed from his academic post and had his passport withdrawn in the early days of Hungary’s Communist government, when old scores were being settled and freedom of thought and expression were being severely curtailed. This was only 5 years before the 1956 revolution was crushed with Soviet tanks. The music gives no such indication of these dark days and the symphony is indeed spring-like with an upbeat mood established right at the start…

The music on the disc gets effective treatment from the Pécs Symphony Orchestra under Nicolás Pasquet… © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, May 2017

These are supple, spirited and more than able accounts and never seem time serving.

The Naxos Lajtha symphony project takes another confident step forward. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

This highly prolific Hungarian composer, László Lajtha, wrote nine symphonies, this is the fourth disc in a ground-breaking cycle first issued on the Marco Polo label. He has remained very much in the shadow of Bartók and Kodály, the musical world most ungenerous in his comparative neglect. Maybe he did not conveniently fit into a twentieth-century nationalistic mould, but he had enjoyed the good fortune of studying with Vincent D’Indy in Paris, and that engendered the ability for colourful orchestration often tinged with French subtlety. The Fifth was at times almost brutal in its impact mixed with deep sadness, and maybe we read too much into its contents, though it would seem to be linked with the Second World War. In total contrast, the Sixth, which followed three years later, in 1955, was a grandchild of French Impressionism, the opening in a fantasy world of ever changing colours; the slow movement of nocturnal hues with quiet percussion effects; an Allegretto grazioso replaces the scherzo, while the finale is a joyful little romp as from a French farce. The disc ends with the overture to Lajtha’s ballet, Lysistrata, a gentle comedy of women getting the upper hand on their menfolk when they remove their conjugal rights. From south-east of Hungary, the Pecs Symphony (now known as the Pannon Philharmonic), was in 1996 conducted by Nicolás Pasquet. They were a reliable ensemble who obviously enjoyed breathing life into Lajtha’s scores, the sound quality one of the best recordings in the original cycle. I give it my strongest recommendation. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Records International, May 2017

Described by the composer as “very tragic, epic, like a ballad”, the Fifth is a heartfelt and forceful statement reflecting persecution and the elusive nature of hope. With its moments of nocturnal enchantment and sparkling humor, the Sixth is enriched by uniquely colorful orchedstration. © 2017 Records International

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