Werner Andreas Albert

Miklós Rósza: Sinfonia concertante; Tripartita

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Miklós Rózsa's concert works have received much less exposure than his world-renowned film scores, and have also been unfairly dismissed by some critics as barely worthy of consideration for their overt scene painting, unabashed tonality, simple forms, and less-than-challenging content. Granted, Rózsa was no Bartók or Kodály, which he himself recognized, and he never pretended to be anything more than a composer of effective music for popular consumption. It is asking too much, then, to require his passionate Sinfonia concertante, Op. 29, to be an exemplar of concerto form, which it plainly is not, or to expect the docile Notturno ungherese, Op. 28, or the intensely dramatic Tripartita, Op. 33, to be anything more substantial than easygoing tone poems, which they most closely resemble. Yet listeners who approach Rózsa from first knowing his lavish soundtracks may appreciate this 2005 CPO release purely for its sumptuous music, without worrying about Rózsa's presumed lack of intellectual rigor. Werner Andreas Albert and the Philharmonia Hungarica present these three vibrant scores with tremendous vitality and sensitivity to color, and violinist András Agoston and cellist László Fenjó are wonderfully expressive in their duos in the Sinfonia concertante. CPO's sound quality is terrific.

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