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Mark Novak
Fanfare, March 2018

The performance by Nicolás Pasquet and the Pécs SO is very convincing, and that is a good thing since it is unlikely we’ll get another recorded version of these works in the near future.

The tempo is lively. There is an Eastern modality to the musical material (common in Lajtha’s music) that arises at times. Given the tricky nature of some of this music, the execution of the Pécs SO is admirable. Kudos to Nicolás Pasquet for directing with such excellence. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review




David Hurwitz
ClassicsToday.com, December 2017

An orchestra clearly committed to the cause, and a conductor completely at home with this Francophile composer’s personal idiom, collectively bless these recordings. If you love the symphony as a form, and enjoy reveling in the endlessly colorful possibilities of the modern orchestra, you’ll want every single issue in this remarkable edition. © 2017 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review



Jens F. Laurson
Forbes.com, December 2017

The 10 Best Classical Recordings Of 2017 (Part 2) # 7

…performed very well by the provincial Pécs Symphony Orchestra! © 2017 Forbes.com



Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, November 2017

[The Pécs Symphony Orchestra] is featured here under Uruguayan conductor Nicolás Pasquet, who elicits authoritative, sensitive accounts of these affecting scores. The PSO musicians do well by their fellow countryman, making a strong case for his music. © 2017 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review



Barry Forshaw
Classical CD Choice, October 2017

The welcome series of Marco Polo issues of Lajtha’s music on the Naxos label continues apace—and this is a particularly cherishable issue. Reflecting Hungary’s troubled times following the Soviet suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, Lajtha’s last two symphonies are deeply emotional and dramatic works ranging from tragic intensity to optimism. Whereas the Eighth Symphony was aptly described by the composer’s wife as ‘a tragedy without consolation’, the emotional power and the melodic beauty of the Ninth Symphony evoke suffering, happiness and hope. A huge success at its 1963 Parisian premiere, the work was acclaimed by the critic Claude Rostand as ‘the one that convinced us that László Lajtha was truly one of the greatest symphonic composers of the 20th century. © 2017 Classical CD Choice



Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, October 2017

…this latest installment is—perhaps—the best recorded of the cycle that I have heard—in spite of the balance favouring the woodwind slightly too much. Performances…are pretty strong and eminently at the service of the music. I am glad to have had the opportunity to get to know this composer but I can’t help feeling that his music will continue to languish on the sidelines. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Records International, October 2017

Reflecting Hungary’s troubled times following the Soviet suppression of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising, Lajtha’s last two symphonies are deeply emotional and dramatic works ranging from tragic intensity to optimism. Whereas the Eighth was aptly described by the composer’s wife as ‘a tragedy without consolation,’ the emotional power and the melodic beauty of the Ninth evoke suffering, happiness and hope. © 2017 Records International



Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, September 2017

As I said when I reviewed this disc in its Marco Polo garb in 1999: “recording engineers and acoustic architects of the world should be flying to Pécs to use and study this fine concert hall. The sound of this recording is magnificent.”

There’s magnificence and beauty among the blistering tragedy of these two symphonies of the last century. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2017

László Lajtha did not hear his Ninth Symphony, his death in 1963 coming from a sudden heart attack, that fact refuting the oft quoted ‘shadow of death’ import. Though he was never short of admiration for his music, his career ran in parallel with Bartók and Kodály, and it has been their music that has overshadowed Lajtha’s output, though his neglect is all the more sad when hearing this disc. The crushing of the peaceful Hungarian revolution by Soviet troops had some input into the Eighth, the opening movement is in a strange world where ideas quickly evaporate, often said to be in a fairy atmosphere, though that would be presuming too much. The short second movement continues in a world of peaceful unease, before we are plunged into the moments of ferocity and conflict of the third movement where there would normally have been a scherzo. The interjection of the side-drum in the finale signals the brutality of war, though not in the remorseless style of Shostakovich’s war symphonies. The Ninth also opens in an aggressive mood, the whole movement having strife as its backdrop, the central Lento taking us back to peace and quiet, before being overtaken by unease. That ‘shadow of death’ tag is finally dispelled in a finale that has inflections of an oriental dance in a seductive vein, and recalls that Lajtha studied with Vincent D’Indy in Paris, some of the scented perfume from there spilling into the movement. Again we are indebted to the Pecs Symphony and the conductor Nicolás Pasquet for championing the composer with such dedication. Previously released on Marco Polo, the recorded 1996 sound is a little congested but adequate. © 2017 David’s Review Corner





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