Music of Miklós Rózsa

Budapest Symphony Orchestra

Music of Miklós Rózsa

NAXOS International, January 2011

Read more / buy on naxos.com

Sterling performances
Miklós Rózsa’s road to success was the same one traveled by a number of other composers who came to the U.S. in the 1930s and were snapped up by a Hollywood film industry hungry for new talent. Rózsa amassed a significant catalog of works for the concert stage (…) The Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra is said to be a world premiere recording on this CD (…) The Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra is said to be a world premiere recording. 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.
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine
Smolij is a sensitive conductor
The wonderful tone of Kosower’s cello is mesmerizing and goes deep into the notes on offer. A warm and committed performance, in which he unearths all subtleties that Rózsa wrote into the score. Smolij is a sensitive conductor that caught the right angle with this composer, and applies gorgeous dynamics throughout, and gives just the right amount of robustness when needed.
Harry van der Wal, Harry’s classical music corner
Enjoy this every bit
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.
David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
First class recording
Rózsa’s four works in this disc cover a thirty-five year compositional span. The earliest is the 1929 Rhapsody, which doesn’t appear to have been recorded before. Mark Kosower is accomplished well, and the vivace close employs brisk rhythmic material, quite angular and forward moving. It all makes for a somewhat unusual slice of Rózsa, but a very welcome one. The recording is first class and the performances sound committed, idiomatic and sharply attuned to the composer’s sensibilities.
Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
Highly recommendable performances
The performances by the Budapest orchestra are well-captured and there is a real shaping of the music here that shows a dedication from all concerned. The acoustic is also quite warm and the program helps to create plenty of contrast. Fans of Rózsa’s music will surely enjoy hearing some of the same musical gestures in these concert works that would become hallmarks of his style in his film music. It would be quite fascinating to hear the orchestra perform some of Rózsa’s film works as well but these are highly recommendable performances.
M. Steve, Cinemusical, St. Paul, Minnesota
Top notch
It could be successfully argued that the concert material that Rózsa composed was every bit as good as his soundtrack material if not better. The works are well played by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and the recording session was top notch. I was impressed with the fact that there was an excitement and energy present in the symphony making you feel they were really enjoying playing the material.
Film Music: The Neglected Art