> Alexander Moyzes - Symphonies Nos 9 and 10 [RB]: Classical Reviews- January 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Alexander MOYZES (1906-1984)
Symphony No. 9 (1970) [37.06]
Symphony No. 10 (1978) [32.48]
Slovak Radio SO/Ladislav Slovák
rec 26-30 June 1995, 7-11 Feb 1994, Concert Hall, Slovak Radio, Bratislava
MARCO POLO 8.225092 [69.54]

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As the years passed Moyzes' symphonies became increasingly querulous, diaphanous in texture and probing. He became more the Pierrot - in serenade, in enchantment or in rebellion. The Tenth bucks the trend but the trend is still there.

With his Ninth Symphony Moyzes was far distant from heavily-laden Mahlerian orchestration. If Mahlerian at all he favoured the delicate soloistic lace of Das Lied's Abschied rather than anything else. Shostakovich (who died in 1975 between the completion of Moyzes' two symphonies) must also have been an influence. There is some uproariously exultant horn and trombone work in the Allegro con brio and the blazing final 4 minutes grips in much the same way as the clamour of William Schuman and Robert Simpson. The solo violin rears up in the third movement as it does in the first; there are only three. That solo violin calls out in sorrowing disillusion before the final rushing crescendo; and in that solo I discern the true culmination of the symphony. Surely that crescendo was only added for politically compliant purposes.

The Tenth is in four movements and seems to dissect and reassemble tributary streams from Brahms, Beethoven, Kodaly (Galanta and Peacock) and Bartok (Concerto for Orchestra). It could easily have been dubbed the Classical. A lovely, vibrato-less (in this case) solo for the French Horn marks out the Larghetto (III). This solo is placed in parallel with the horn solo in Tchaikovsky 5 but it does not have the thematically long span of the Tchaikovsky. The work is attractive but has an indeterminate or, I should say, elusive profile.

The piano pizzicato at 1.10 in the andante [II] of the Ninth displays the fine recording qualities of the Concert Hall of Slovak Radio which I have already praised in reviews of the other parts of this integral collection.

The Ninth was premiered on 26 September 1971 by Zdenek Kosler conducting the Slovak PO. The Tenth on 3 May 1979 with the present conductor directing the Slovak PO. Both premieres took place in Bratislava.

Two symphonies in the disillusioned and cynical tradition the roots for which were struck by Kurt Weill in his two symphonies here further inflamed by accelerants from Shostakovich and Debussy.

Essential notes again from Ivan Marton.

This is the fifth issue in the uniform Marco Polo series of the twelve Moyzes symphonies. Going by the many days spent in the studio these are no mere run-throughs but statements of faith and conviction.

Rob Barnett


Earlier issues in this series. Each has been reviewed for this site:-

Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 1 and 2 Marco Polo 8.225088

Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 3 and 4 Marco Polo 8.225089

Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 5 and 6 Marco Polo 8.225090

Alexander MOYZES Symphonies 7 and 8 Marco Polo 8.225091

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