Istvan Kassai & Gyorgy Lazar – Szechenyi: Waltzes & Hungarian Marches (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

István Kassai & György Lázár – Széchényi: Waltzes & Hungarian Marches (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:15:40 minutes | 1,13 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Naxos

Count Imre Széchényi of Sárvár-Felsővidék was a highly regarded Austro-Hungarian diplomat and politician who counted Johann Strauss as a lifelong friend, and whose dances were popular and much in demand in his day. Széchényi composed waltzes throughout his creative period, but only a few of these have been preserved. His work was of interest to his contemporaries, and among these premiere recordings is Liszt’s own arrangement of the Ungarischer Marsch. These lively and melodious forgotten gems are brought to life on a 1908 Bechstein piano previously owned by Wagner’s grandson, Wolfgang.

“Better known as a leading Austro-Hungarian diplomat and politician during much of the Nineteen century, Imre Szechenyi also enjoyed composing dance music. Little of it now remains, but here, in a well filled release, we have thirteen tracks mainly of Waltzes and Marches performed in piano versions both as a solo and for ‘four hands, one piano’. It adds much to the disc we already have of his orchestrated dances. In style they came from the era of the younger Johann Strauss, the waltzes swinging along with a nice sense of fun, while the Hungarian Csardas—one of his most attractive scores—has that bitter-sweet quality that remains in the memory. Elsewhere I do miss that ability of Strauss to create ‘foot-tapping’ melodies we never forget, though I had much pleasure in finding the Geburtstag Walzer (Birthday Waltz) and the bubbling Palais galop. I have equally enjoyed the Drei Walzer from 1889, and the unusually titled Equestrian Hungarian March. Istvan Kassai, who has added so much the Naxos catalogue, is an enthusiastic guide to Szechenyi, and is here joined by the Budapest-based Gyorgy Lazar, their partnership oozing with virtuosity in the Einleitung und ungarischer. How you react to the sound of the 1908 Bechstein piano is a matter of personal taste. It has certainly been wonderfully preserved and comes in an excellent recording.” (David’s Review Corner)

1. Le Château de Celles (03:31)
2. Ungarischer Marsch (08:02)
3. Wintermärchen Walzer (08:58)
4. Unser letzter Walzer (07:03)
5. Csárdás hongroise (06:19)
6. Geburtstag Walzer (05:17)
7. Palais-galop (02:31)
8. 3 Walzer for Piano 4 Hands: No. 1 in C Major (06:14)
9. 3 Walzer for Piano 4 Hands: No. 2 in F Major (07:20)
10. 3 Walzer for Piano 4 Hands: No. 3 in G Major (04:34)
11. Lovasjáték magyar induló (03:26)
12. Walzer vierhändig (05:27)
13. Einleitung und Ungarischer Marsch von Graf Imre Széchényi, S. 573 (Arr. H. Gobbi for Piano 4 Hands) (06:58)