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Rozsa: Viola Concerto; Hungarian Serenade

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Audio CD, December 16, 2008
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Rozsa: Viola Concerto; Hungarian Serenade + Rozsa: Violin Concerto/ Sinfonia Concertante + Rozsa: String Quartets Nos. 1 and 2; String Trio (Original Version)
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Editorial Reviews

The spirit of his native Hungary is seldom far away from the concert music of Miklós Rózsa, in spite of some 55 years spent in Hollywood and his long association with music for the cinema. His Viola Concerto, the later of the two works pre

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Viola Concerto, Op. 37: I. Moderato assaiGilad Karni14:52Album Only
  2. Viola Concerto, Op. 37: II. Allegro giocosoGilad Karni 5:30$0.89  Buy MP3 
  3. Viola Concerto, Op. 37: III. AdagioGilad Karni 7:18$0.89  Buy MP3 
  4. Viola Concerto, Op. 37: IV. Allegro con spiritoGilad Karni 8:47Album Only
  5. Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25: I. MarciaBudapest Symphony Orchestra MAV 4:32$0.89  Buy MP3 
  6. Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25: II. SerenataBudapest Symphony Orchestra MAV 6:55$0.89  Buy MP3 
  7. Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25: III. ScherzoBudapest Symphony Orchestra MAV 4:24$0.89  Buy MP3 
  8. Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25: IV. NotturnoBudapest Symphony Orchestra MAV 3:56$0.89  Buy MP3 
  9. Hungarian Serenade, Op. 25: V. DanzaBudapest Symphony Orchestra MAV 4:04$0.89  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Orchestra: Budapest Concerto Orchestra
  • Conductor: Smolij
  • Composer: Rozsa
  • Audio CD (December 16, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 60.41 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The Viola Concerto (1979) was the last orchestral piece Miklós Rózsa wrote. His friend cellist Gregor Piatigorsky had enthusiastically mentioned the playing of the young Pinchas Zuckerman, best known as a violinist but becoming increasingly recognized as a superb violist. Piatigorsky died shortly afterward and Rózsa wrote this work for Zuckerman as a memorial to his long-time friend Piatigorsky. Zuckerman played the première of the concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony under André Previn in May 1984. It has been recorded to acclaim by British violist Paul Silverthorne, but I have not heard that performance. Rozsa: Sinfonia Concertante, Op.29/Concerto for Viola, Op.37 Indeed, the present recording is my first encounter with the work. It is a long piece -- thirty-six minutes -- in, unusually for a concerto, four movements. The first movement begins in the lowest register of the solo viola and sets the tone for the concerto as a whole: dark, probing, anguished, nostalgic, both dramatic and lyrical. This movement is nearly twice as long as any of the other movements and has a cadenza that seems a cry in the dark. The second movement, although marked Allegro giocoso, seems more sardonic than jocose. There is a prominent part for wood block that somehow gives the whole a brittle nervous quality. The third movement, marked Adagio, starts out as if hidden in thick fog but somehow emerges into the sunlight and soars into the ether.Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By RJAdams on May 11, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I have not heard other performances of this piece. However, this is an exciting rendition of what I think is a viola masterpiece and is my favorite 20th century viola concerto (I have not heard two other worthy contenders by UK composers Stanley Bate or Edmund Rubbra). It has not enjoyed the exposure or reputation of orchestral works for viola by Bartok/Serly, Martinu, Hindemith, or Walton, among others. The concerto is "big" both in terms of the quality of the musical content and duration, timing out at 36 plus minutes. Rozsa has conceived the work exceptionally well for the viola's middle class voice, less brilliant than the violin, less powerful than the cello. Indeed Rozsa's compositional skill enables this instrument to project a genuine protagonist. No bumbling, befuddled, stodgy peasant here, either deliriously happy or crushingly hungover from too much inebriant or misfortune. For this credit is due to Gilad Karni, the violist, not a big name soloist, but one who plays just like one, handling the big lyrical episodes and the virtuoso passages with equal aplomb. This is a work with plenty of both, composed as it was with Pinchas Zukerman in mind. Nevertheless, would that PZ had recorded it, and maybe it's not too late.

The Hungarian Serenade (1932, rev 1952) is Bartok without shock, awe, or eeriness, or perhaps a better analogy would be Dohnanyi with the addition of Bartok's elemental vigor and rustic rhythmic sense. If less singular than the Viola Concerto, remember that Richard Strauss raved about the work at its premiere in 1932.

The sound strikes me as somewhat better than the subdued spotlight provided by Naxos to violist Lars Tomter in their recording of the Walton Viola Concerto. Here the violist is neither distant nor too close, so that both the soloist and the orchestra grab your attention whenever called for.
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Rozsa: Viola Concerto; Hungarian Serenade
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