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Ferenc Farkas (1905-2000): Music for Oboe & Strings (Orchestral Music Vol. 3) / Lajos Lencsés, oboe; János Rolla, violin; Franz Liszt CO

Notes & Reviews:

This is the third release in a series of Toccata Classics critically well-received recordings of orchestral music by the Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas (1905 - 2000). This volume features works for oboe and strings, the solo instrument played by legendary Hungarian oboist Lajos Lencsés, who has made more than fifty recordings. The recording highlights the characteristics that make his music so appealing: catchy tunes, transparent scoring, buoyant rhythms and a fondness for Baroque forms and folk-dances. Two chamber pieces featuring the oboe and cor anglais offer textural contrast.

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
This is the third volume of Toccata's recordings of orchestral music by Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas, this one consisting of pieces for oboe and strings, woodwind trio, and string orchestra. Farkas was known for his "old wine in new bottles" methods - both in using material from previous eras (as in the Old Hungarian Dances and Ricordanze) and for arranging his own music for different ensembles (Maschere, Music for Zanka, Aria and Rondo). Several of the works here appeared on the previous two volumes of his music in different arrangements.

The Old Hungarian Dances are based on material from the 17th Century, and Farkas's presentation of them is reminiscent of Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances (indeed, Farkas studied with Respighi). Piccola Musica di Concerto is an enlargement of the composer's 1961 string quartet, and has echoes of the music of Kodaly. On the other hand, Maschere, based on Commedia dell'arte characters, is performed as originally written, for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon. This little piece is delightful - by turns ironic, pensive, and charming - and the performers do a fine job with it. Lecses and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra play the Oboe Concertino beautifully, with excellent sensitivity, balance, and interplay. The choral-like II is especially satisfying. Hungarian oboist Lajos Lencses blends virtuosity, sensitivity, and humor, bringing extra flavor to music that otherwise could sound simply ordinary. This disc is enjoyable and particularly recommended for people eager to collect Farkas's orchestral music.


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