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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


 

 

Miklós RÓZSA (1907-1995)
String Quartet No. 1 Op. 22 (1950) [27.35]
String Quartet No. 2 Op. 38 (1981) [22.51]
Rhapsody for cello and piano Op. 3 (1929) [16.27]
Pro Arte Quartet
Parry Karp (cello)
Howard Karp (piano)
rec Laurel Studio, Los Angeles, 1987?, DDD
LAUREL RECORD LR-842CD [66.58]
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

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There are no half-measures in these readings and recordings. Microphone placement produces a very assertive sound-picture - guttural, resinous, grainy, emotionally piercing. Laurel, as is their wont, produce notes of the highest quality. In this case the author is the late and still much missed Christopher Palmer.

The First Quartet buzzes with intensity in three of the four movements. It was written as a purgative after the monumentalism of the score for Quo Vadis. While closely recorded the quartet still achieve some fine gradations of sound as in the Vivo Capriccioso (tr. 2). Typically Rózsa's penultimate movement, a Lento, sings in astringency. The Second Quartet was his penultimate large-scale work. The final work was the Viola Concerto. This quartet has the same piercing Hungarian drive that we find in his other music but here it is 'purified' of the more accessibly yielding emotions - drier and relentless. The Rhapsody for cello and piano is one of Rózsa's earliest concert works. It is perhaps amazing how much of the intense singing qualities of the mature Rózsa are present in this work. Seemingly the accompaniment was originally intended for orchestra. It would not surprise me if it emerged in that form eventually. It is a big-boned romantic work that would appeal to those who love the Kodaly Sonata for unaccompanied cello (if only I could track down a copy of the Saga CD of the Starker performance), the Bax sonatas and the superb Rubbra Soliloquy.

A warmly recommended disc only likely to scare off those who react adversely to the unflinching closeness of the recording.

Rob Barnett

 


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FREE SOUND SAMPLES
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String Quartet No. 1, op. 22:
Andante con Moto

Vivo Capriccioso

Lento

Allegro feroce

String Quartet No. 2, op. 38:
Allegro con brio

Andante 2+2

Allegro Scherzando

Allegro risoluto

Rhapsody for cello and piano

 





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