Eugene Zádor, 2016
This newest release from Naxos, by the Budapest Symphony under the baton of Mariusz Smolij, features four works by Eugene Zádor, each one composed in a different decade of the composer’s life. Christmas Overture, 1961, is based on original themes that evoke both the joy and solemnity of the season. Biblical Triptych, 1943, inspired by Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers, is Zádor’s symphonic retelling of the stories of Joseph, David, and St. Paul. Rhapsody for Large Orchestra, 1930, consists of variations on a simple tune suggestive of Hungarian folk music. Fugue Fantasia, 1958, develops the Bach pattern of a Fantasia along modern lines.
Detailed liner notes and biographical information are available with the CD.
In October, 2010, Howard Williams conducted the Budapest Symphony in a program of three works by Zádor – Aria and Allegro, Hungarian Capriccio, and Csárdás Rhapsody – and, by Miklós Rózsa: Sinfonia Concertante. The first of two such performances took place in Pécs, the second in Budapest. Zádor’s Woodwind Quintet was also played in October in Bátasék, the village where he was born.
A recording of five works by Zádor was released on Naxos in 2012. The Budapest Symphony, this time conducted by Mariusz Smolij, again played the Aria and Allegro, Hungarian Capriccio and Csárdás Rhapsody, as well as A Children’s Symphony and Five Contrasts for Orchestra. The following year, a second recording was issued, including Divertimento for Strings, Elegie and Dance, Oboe Concerto and Studies for Orchestra. In December, 2015, a third volume was issued, including Festival Overture, Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, and Dance Symphony. A fourth (shown above) was released in August, 2016. A fifth volume, which will be recorded in September of 2017, will include: Elegy, Dance Overture, Rhapsody for Cimbalom and Orchestra, Fantasia Hungarica, Rhapsody for Orchestra, and Variations on a Merry Theme.
A frequent recording artist for Naxos International, Mariusz Smolij has received critical acclaim for his compelling performances. His discography includes a long list of CDs released by major recording companies. Highly praised by international press, these recordings feature a repertoire by deserving under-represented Eastern European composers such as Panufnik, Bacewicz, and Szeligowski, as well as recognized masters such as Rózsa, Mahler, Copland, and Bernstein. The conductor is in the process of recording the entire symphonic output of Eugene Zádor.
On January 28, 2015, Mariusz Smolij led the Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra in Bydgoszcz, Poland, in a performance of Zádor’s Divertimento for Strings. Since then, he has conducted orchestras in both the United States and Europe in performances of the Csárdás Rhapsody (March 6, 2016, Arcadiana Orchestra, Lafayette, Louisiana; June 17, 2016, National Music Festival Orchestra, Chesterton, Maryland; October 29, 2016, Budapest Symphony Orchestra, Budapest Hungary; April 7, 1917, Toruń Symphony Orchestra, Toruń, Poland). In addition, on January 20, 2017, he conducted the Artur Rubenstein Philharmonic Orchestra in Lodz, Poland, in a program of American music that included selections from two works Zádor composed after he emigrated to the United States: Biblical Triptych and Studies for Orchestra.