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Cinemusical, May 2019

The orchestra really latches on well to the music and Csányi manages to help make the necessary shifts in tempo work well to connect to the story. Toldi certainly will be intriguing to those exploring 20th Century symphonic music. © 2019 Cinemusical Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, May 2018

These are première recordings and pursuers of the darker corners now inhabited by the more obscure practitioners of vintage waltz music must not miss this CD. If you are already pleasurably immersed in the dances of Dresher, Fall, Millöcker, Eilenberg and Gung'l and Tonstudio's Spirit of Vienna series then delay is to be avoided.

There are loveable dances among some humdrum moments but all delightfully recorded and performed. Well worth rescuing © 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review, January 2018

The Budapest Symphony Orchestra MÁV under Valéria Csányi performs these semi-precious musical gems with fine polish and a sure sense of style—providing further evidence of the extent to which the Strauss family overshadowed a very large number of fine composers who, if they did not produce really first-rate material, did offer audiences in their time and ours a great deal of verve and enjoyment. © 2018 Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2018

Leading a dual life the Austrian aristocrat, Count Imre Széchényi, was both a skilled composer and diplomat, his Dances for Orchestra once highly popular in Vienna. As a diplomat he enjoyed a notable career, being moved around the major capitols of Europe, and it was while he was in St. Petersburg during the 1850’s, that he composed the 18 Polkas and Mazurkas recorded here. It was in that period he met the younger Johann Strauss, and it was the Johann Strauss orchestra that introduced the music of Széchényi in their Vienna concerts. In content and style it was pure Strauss, though not always finding the ‘catchy’ melodies that would give the music a lasting presence in the concert repertoire. They had started out as pieces for the piano, but were later orchestrated by the composer, those scores now lost, the present disc coming from instrumental parts that have survived, and are being recorded for the first time. The eighteen pieces form six groups of three, the first two of each being obviously intended for dancing and the third more suited to the concert hall. So I beg of you to savour it bit by bit—who would want to listen to seventy uninterrupted minutes of Johann Strauss polkas—and then it cannot fail to please. Indeed in the case of the Polka pretentieuse and the Pretchistinka polka you will be surprised that they are not part of the repertoire we hear in the Viennese New Year Eve concerts. Maybe just a trifle more urgency from the conductor, Valéria Csányi, would have better served Széchényi though she does bring from the Budapest Symphony the most elegant sounds in the Polka-Mazurkas. Excellent and infinitely detailed sound. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

David Hurwitz, December 2017

The music on this disc consists of polkas and mazurkas (and sometimes both combined), arranged in miniature suites of three movements each. The final dance in each set is the longest: indeed those in the Seventh and Eighth Suites run to eight and seven minutes respectively, and the care with which each suite was assembled says something about the high level of craftsmanship we can expect.

Not that the music is all that serious. Some of the titles are humorous: Polka prétentieuse and Neige (Snow)-Polka, for example, and of course there’s a Polka hongroise. The tunes are charming, often a touch exotic, and the scoring bright and perky. The performances under conductor Valéria Csányi have plenty of verve—not that the music poses any particular interpretive challenges. © 2017 Read complete review

Records International, December 2017

Meaning 18 dances in six groups of three, all polkas, mazurkas or polka-mazurkas, all but three composed while on diplomatic service in St. Petersburg. High quality stuff too—Széchényi’s friend Johann Strauss II put many of them in his own concert programs, so you pretty much know what to expect! … © 2017 Records International

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