WGBH Radio WGBH Radio theclassicalstation.org

Lajtha: Symphony No. 2 & Variations, Op. 44 / Pasquet, Pecs Symphony Orchestra

Release Date: 11/11/2016 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8573644  
Composer:  László Lajtha
Conductor:  Nicolás Pasquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pecs Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Now reissued on Naxos, Lajtha’s Second Symphony couldn’t be more different from the ebullient First. Its outer movements are anguished, the first a funeral march (sound clip), the finale an urgent and turbulent whirlwind. In the middle we find a fantastical scherzo, all of it scored with Lajtha’s typical sensitivity and luminosity. As with other releases in this series, the performance by the Pécs Symphony Orchestra under Nicolás Parquet is pretty terrific: sensitive to dynamics, firmly rhythmic, colorful and transparent.

The Variations, Op. 44 are even larger and more ambitious. Lajtha conceived the piece as music for the film version by Georg Hollering of T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, but from the
Read more first he intended that the music have an independent existence. As you might expect, the variations are highly varied and extremely inventive. Lajtha said that he intended the music to last about half an hour. This version plays for forty minutes, but it certainly doesn’t sound excessively slow. The music is, in any case, well worth getting to know, and both works are very vividly recorded in a warm acoustic space. This is a serious release of music by an important composer. Try to sample it.

– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz) Read less

Works on This Recording

Symphony no 2, Op. 27 by László Lajtha
Conductor:  Nicolás Pasquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pecs Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; Hungary 
Variations for Orchestra, Op. 44 by László Lajtha
Conductor:  Nicolás Pasquet
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pecs Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Hungary 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A Pre-War Masterpiece March 10, 2017 By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA) See All My Reviews "Lajtha's Symphony No. 2 was completed in 1938 but remained unpublished and unperformed until its premier in 1988 --25 years after the composer's death. The symphony is neo-classical in style, though somewhat brooding (perhaps reacting to the gathering clouds of war). Lajtha's use of the piano in this three-movement work reminded me a little of Martinu's orchestral writing (though not as percussive). Instead, Lajtha uses harmonic motion that creates a sense of urgency and unrest. It's a powerful work, for sure. The Variations for Orchestra came about from a recommendation. When invited to compose background music for a documentary about Hungary, Béla Bartók suggested Lajtha would be a better choice. The eleven symphonic variations show great imagination. Lajtha's original theme seems to have been influenced by both early Prokofiev and Hungarian folksong. Nicolás Pasquet leads the Pécs Symphony Orchestra in these expressive performances. Having a Hungarian orchestra perform these works adds a little something, I think, to the music that brings their ethnic origins a little closer to the surface." Report Abuse
Review This Title