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Rózsa: Three Hungarian Sketches; Cello Rhapsody; Hungarian Nocturne

Album Summary

>Rózsa, Miklós : Overture to a Symphony Concert, Op. 26a (revised version)
>Rózsa, Miklós : Rhapsody for cello & orchestra, Op. 3
>Rózsa, Miklós : Hungarian Nocturne, for orchestra, Op. 28
>Rózsa, Miklós : Hungarian Sketches (3), Op. 14
Performer Conductor Ensemble
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Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Along with his legacy of nearly one hundred film scores Miklós Rózsa's concert music has held its place in the repertoire. This fourth Naxos album brings his heartfelt and impeccably crafted compositions to a new generation of listeners. An Avery Fisher Career Grant winner, cellist Mark Kosower has appeared as a soloist with orchestras worldwide. He has given recitals in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Aspen Music Festival, amongst other prestigious venues.

”These are beautiful, energetic, colorful performances of music that is equally so. Miklós Rózsa's concert music sounds just like his film music, and all of it sounds Hungarian, whether it's called Ben-Hur or Three Hungarian Sketches. Mariusz Smolij certainly seems as though he's enjoying himself, and the orchestra plays with the kind of uninhibited verve that this music really needs. In the Cello Rhapsody Mark Kosower sports an attractive timbre and he shapes the tunes with incisive rhythm and a nice feeling for the music's melodic curves. Topping it all off: excellent engineering. There's really nothing more to say. If you like Rózsa's film music you're going to enjoy this every bit as much.”-Classicstoday.com

American Record Guide
The overture makes a good starter: it's a well-constructed piece with good themes and dramatic contrasts. The Cello Rhapsody (1929)... gets a capable performance. Of necessity, it comes off as a mini-concerto. The more familiar Hungarian Sketches get a good workout, and though more rhythmic precision would have helped, wind up in a rousing finale.

Fanfare
R=zsa relates what happened at the premiere of the piece given by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1964. Benjamin sat next to R=zsa in the audience. "I cannot remain pianissimo for eight minutes," R=zsa said. "As the music grew so did Mr. Benjamin's unease, until the climax stirred him to a glare. Then, as the music subsided, the angelic smile returned. Afterwards he told me, very kindly, that somehow he could never make composers understand exactly what he wanted." Lucky thing for Benjamin that he wasn't around to commission one of Beethoven's late works; had he said to Beethoven what he said to R=zsa, he might have lost some of his teeth. But then R=zsa had already been through the wringer with Heifetz over the composer's Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Cello, which the violinist balked at because the cello, he claimed, had the dominant role. By the time Benjamin showed himself a dolt, R=zsa was well practiced in the art of diplomacy.

The Budapest Symphony Orchestra turns in sterling performances for Mariusz Smolij, and the stage for Naxos's recording is wide and deep. A welcome and recommended addition to the catalog.



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Works Details

>Miklós Rózsa (Composer) (1907 - 1995) : Overture to a Symphony Concert, Op. 26a (revised version)
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Hungaroton Studio, Budapest, Hungary (09/12/2009-09/14/2009)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral

>Miklós Rózsa (Composer) (1907 - 1995) : Rhapsody for cello & orchestra, Op. 3
  • Performer: Mark Kosower (Cello)
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Hungaroton Studio, Budapest, Hungary (09/12/2009-09/14/2009)
  • Running Time: 15 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1929

>Miklós Rózsa (Composer) (1907 - 1995) : Hungarian Nocturne, for orchestra, Op. 28
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Hungaroton Studio, Budapest, Hungary (09/12/2009-09/14/2009)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1964

>Miklós Rózsa (Composer) (1907 - 1995) : Hungarian Sketches (3), Op. 14
  • Conductor: Mariusz Smolij
  • Notes: Studio 22, Hungarian Radio, Budapest, Hungary (11/08/2007-11/09/2007)
  • Running Time: 22 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1938