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James H. North
Fanfare, November 2018

The Pannon Philharmonic is a full-sized symphony orchestra, vastly improved since its recordings of the Lajtha symphonies for Marco Polo (when it was called the Pécs Symphony Orchestra). It now plays, and records, in the 2010 Kodály Centre, a 990-seat auditorium that claims the finest acoustics in Hungary. One hears intimacy as well as openness, detail as well as warmth, in this superb recording. One of the secrets to this performance is reduced strings—either in number or dynamics. Piquant woodwinds dominate the orchestra, aided by soft horns and the occasional brass outburst. The result is almost a different, nearly unrecognizable piece.

Schmid plays the Second Concerto beautifully… © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob Cowan
Gramophone, October 2018

In the Second Concerto it’s again the slow movement that draws from Schmid the most responsive playing, both in the lyrical outer sections and in the playful badinage that lightens the mood at the movement’s centre. The larger-scale outer movements are also excellent, with Tibor Bogányi and his Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra making sure that the woodwinds are clearly audible. Schmid’s seasoned approach suggests long familiarity with both scores but it’s the more sophisticated Second Concerto, music also suggestive of rustic undertones, that benefits most from his balance of heart and head, much aided, of course, by a fine technique. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, September 2018

The Violin Concerto No.2 was written for Zoltán Székely in Hungary in 1937–8, prior to Bartók’s 1940 move to the United States. The middle movement in particular has a wistful introspection that seems redolent of a beloved but changing country, soon to be left behind forever.

There’s suitably rapturous playing throughout from all involved. © 2018 The WholeNote Read complete review

Uwe Krusch
Pizzicato, August 2018

Bartok’s violin concertos with Benjamin Schmid and Hungarian orchestra from Pecs are heard in well differentiated performances. The first concerto gets a suitable melancholic character, while the second shows a refined playfulness. © 2018 Pizzicato

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