Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Karl F. Miller
Fanfare, January 2019

Conductor Smolij seems to be in total sympathy with the music. His sense of nuance and his choice of tempos seem ideally suited to these works, and the performances suggest that everyone involved was in love with them. The orchestra plays magnificently. One could not ask for more from a performance. The recorded sound is excellent. © 2019 Fanfare  Read complete review

Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, November 2018

The program ends with the 15-minute Rhapsody for Orchestra (1961), which seems to summarize Zador’s style elements: thoughtfulness, short themes, hints of folk tunes, sequential involvement of all instrumental families, and avoidance of bombast.

Fine playing by the Budapest Symphony. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Jim Westhead
MusicWeb International, September 2018

I am quite pleased with this CD, and the piece I enjoy most (by far) is the Elegie ‘The Plains of Hungary’. It only lasts 9½ minutes, but it is probably worth the modest price of this CD on its own. It could almost be called a symphonic poem for woodwind and strings, although brass and harp appear to a limited degree as well The recording captures the tones of different woodwind instruments beautifully…

All in all, this is a welcome disk, and I am pleased that I have had the chance to listen to it (several times). The recording is full and impactive, very well representing the vividness of the scoring. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Steven A Kennedy
Cinemusical, August 2018

Mariusz Smolij and the Budapest Symphony continue to show an affinity for these pieces with committed performances. The performances are wonderfully captured in a good overall sound with a touch of ambience that allows here for the crisp playing. Zador’s music has a bit more chance to capture the ears of audiences more receptive to tonal music with modern touches and more open to Hollywood-based composer’s concert music. Start here and consider exploring the previous releases in this series. © 2018 Cinemusical Read complete review

James Manheim, August 2018

The solo instrument in the Rhapsody for cimbalom and orchestra is likewise beautifully handled, with a variety of attacks and voices being given to this Hungarian folk instrument. The straight orchestral pieces are also strong.

Budapest Symphony Orchestra under Polish conductor Mariusz Smolij has done a great service by taking this music off the scrap heap of history and bringing it back to life. © 2018 Read complete review

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, August 2018

With performances and recording which do justice to this attractive music, this could be your ideal introduction to Zádor’s music or your ideal second chance if you tried and gave up with one of the other albums.

It’s one of those occasions when we are given too much and too varied information and the player thinks it’s dealing with three different albums. Back up the music first and do it carefully: ‘MAV Symphony Orchestra’ should do it. © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, August 2018

His [Zador] later works addressed Hungarian themes and had a folk-like homespun quality at times without adopting directly any nationalist melodic material. Yet there is real inventive facility, an excellent sonaric command of the orchestra, poise and personality in the musical unfolding. © 2018 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, July 2018

Having fled from Hungary at the onset of the Second World War, we find Hungarian composer, Eugene Zador, in the United States having a new life in the film industry. Yet there was always a yearning to return to his years in Vienna where his works had received critical acclaim, and in his final period he was to write in a style he had created as a young man, but now with the added element of the commerciality of Hollywood. Opening with the infectious joy of the Dance Overture from 1965, five years later he wrote the two movement Fantasia Hungarica for that remarkable and legendary bassist, Gary Karr, here recreated by the virtuoso, Zsolt Fejervari, his extraordinary performance something you must not miss. Technically it is impeccable, with the upper octaves possessing the sweetness of a cello. Maybe the Elegie was a rather glossy memory of of Hungary, the inclusion of the cimbalom in the Rhapsody returning the music to Eastern Europe with a display of the instrument in many moods. The most extended score is the Variations on a Merry Theme, that theme coming from Zador, the variations a showcase for soloists of the orchestra, obviously much to the delight of the Budapest Symphony, directed by the Polish conductor, Mariusz Smolij. This highly recommended release ends with the 1961 Rhapsody premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic to highly favourable reviews, it is, like most of his works, receiving its World Premiere Recording. Studio sound of a good quality. © 2018 David’s Review Corner

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group