Eugene Zádor, 2018
This newest release from Naxos, by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mariusz Smolij, features six works by Eugene Zádor. Though composed decades after he left his native Hungary, they continue to reflect Zádor’s Hungarian heritage in various ways. As the composer said in an interview on the occasion of his eightieth birthday, “Nobody can escape the influence of his early youth; the roots of his nationality will stay with him always.” Included here are: Dance Overture (1965); Fantasia Hungarica for Double Bass and Orchestra (1970—Zsolt Féjérvari, soloist); Elegie, “The Plains of Hungary” (1960); Rhapsody for Cimbalom and Orchestra (1969—Kálmán Balogh, soloist); Variations on a Merry Theme (1964), and Rhapsody for Orchestra (1961).
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 volume, including Christmas Overture, Biblical Triptych, Rhapsody for Large Orchestra, and Fugue Fantasia, was released in August, 2016. A fifth (shown above) was released in July, 2018. A sixth volume was recorded in September of 2018.
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.