MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around 2023
Approaching 60,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

new MWI
Current reviews

old MWI
pre-2023 reviews

paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Songs to Harp from
the Old and New World

all Nimbus reviews

all tudor reviews

Follow us on Twitter

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all Bridge reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All Eloquence reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing



CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS
Download from The Classical Shop

Miklós RÓZSA (1907-1995)
Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song for violin and orchestra, Op. 4 (1929) [10:01]
The Vintner's Daughter - Twelve Variations on a French Folk Song, Op. 23a (1953) [16:36]
Notturno Ungherese, Op. 28 (1964) [8:30]
Cello Concerto, Op. 32 (1967-68) [30:01]
Paul Watkins (cello); Jennifer Pike (violin)
BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba
rec. Studio 7, New Broadcasting House, Manchester, 16-17 June 2009 and 16 June 2010 (Cello Concerto only)
CHANDOS CHAN 10674 [65:40]

Experience Classicsonline

Rozsa's orchestral music is being surveyed by several companies. Koch managed the largest slice in the 1990s: . CPO, Naxos and Chandos are on the scent.
Expectations were raised to quite some height by Chandos volume 1. Its successor does nothing to squash the track record. All credit to the Chandos Manchester team for the sound results and to Gamba and the musicians for the musical sensibility.
The Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song is an early piece and I think it shows. It’s appealing - there’s no doubting that - but it lacks the deeply founded mastery of the other works here. Think of it as a sort of later counterpart to the Sibelius Humoresques though again lacking the diamond ice perfection of those smilingly shivering miniatures. Much of this work is bathed in a sunset glow although there are some grim jaw-sets along with the firebrand scintillation of zigeuner friss. Jennifer Pike is suitably fervent and devilishly seductive of tone.
The Vintner's Daughter sequence is one of Rozsa’s most sheerly beautiful works. The second brief set of variations is for orchestra alone and dates from more than two decades later. It is very inventive and touching with Rozsa's mature mastery and honeyed romance showing both in his astute choice of theme nicely limned by the horns at the start and in the burnished romance of the violins at 3:30. His film music skills are fully in evidence but not in any overstuffed way. This is a most beautiful, intricate and haunting work achieving much in just over a quarter hour. The music is - as I said of volume 1 - more Kodály than Bartók: jangling magic and whispered intimacy in a folksy style. You find it in much the same latitude as the Peacock Variations and Háry Janos.
Just when I had been expecting Notturno Ungherese – which in fairness I have heard more than once over the years – to be a sort of mood-sequel to Kodaly’s Summer Evening I was brought up short. In fact this 1960s piece touches on Rozsa’s angst-ridden film noir psychosis. So be it. It’s a fine piece: Notturno Ungherese and Kodaly's Summer Evening still belong in the same folder. It gleams in a warm atomised spray - contented and hazed with radiant then gentle light. As with everything else here Gamba is in invincible form with biting attack and shimmering melodic material.
The single most extended piece here is the Cello Concerto. It is typically rhapsodic - a quality it shares with the 1953 Violin Concerto. The cello work is from the same years as the Piano Concerto: 1967-68 and was completed at Santa Margherita on the Italian Riviera. This is the latest piece here. It was premiered at the Berlin Festival in 1969 by the commissioner and dedicatee, János Starker. That performance was included on a rare Pantheon LP and cassette (FSM53901 and CA FSM53901) (not sure if it ever made it to CD) reminding us that Starker was teamed with Eliahu Inbal. worth tracking down for its connections with the dedicatee.
Other performances include one broadcast by Raphael Wallfisch (February 1995) with John Lubbock and the Ulster Orchestra, Brinton Smith’s 1997 commercial recorinig with Jame Sedares (part of the Koch Internatinal Rozsa project 3 7402 2H1) and Peter Rejto’s recording with the Gerard Schurmann concerto (also 1995) on Silva Screen SILKD 6011 with the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Howard Williams. The latter continues the film connection. Of all of these the most animated is the present disc which is superbly recorded. It may be my fault but I have always left the experience of hearing this concerto with a rather matte and dun impression. For the first time the music came to varied life. The playing in the devilish finale is smack-bang on the beat and grippingly predatory. This work has a buzzingly intense introspective obsession and in the hands of engineers, soloist, orchestra and conductor it leaps to vivid life. This is the recording of the Rozsa Cello Concerto.
Paul Watkins is given the prominence in the soundstage that is also enjoyed by Jennifer Pike. The sound overall is in Chandos's highest traditions of excellence with a grating burr on the brass and a ringing freshness to the many subtle percussion way-markers.
Small criticisms: the two variations based works would have benefited from having one track per variation.
High hopes fulfilled.
Rob Barnett












Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.