Review

The Times
June 1997

New Classical CDs: Rollicking Chopin; meticulous Mozart; exhilarating Vienesse whirl

CHOPIN: Chamber music
Nagy/Szabó/Várjon
Hungaroton HCD 31651**

AN EXCITING new piano trio who will make their London debut in September uncover some less frequently played Chopin in this recital of the Cello Sonata, G minor Trio and Grand Duo Concertante. The violinist is Gábor Takács-Nagy, leader of the Takács quartet and of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, and he makes sure the sparks fly in the opening to the G minor Trio. His cellist, Péter Szabó, and pianist, Dénes Várjon, enjoy the impish Scherzo and the stomping, folksy finale: the slow movement is inevitably, a piano led Nocturne of great beauty.

Szabó and Várjon bring fiery declamation and a bit of rough and tumble to the Cello Sonata, written for the French cellist Auguste Franchomme. They collaborated on the then highly fashionable Grand Duo Concertante, 12 minutes of audacious variations on themes from Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable, played with robust histrionics which test Szabó’s bow arm to the full.

Hilary Finch

Péter Szabó cellist, conductor, music editor
Péter Szabó's recordings are available on Amazon.com: