Review

The Times
April 1999

Classical CDS: Rare Hungarians

Instrumental
Liszt/Latjha
Piano Trios
Takács Piano Trio
Hungaroton HCD 31815

***

The Takács Trio formed by the ex-leader of the Takács Quartet, give next Monday’s Radio 3 lunchtime concert at Wigmore Hall and they have just released an enterprising and irresistible disc which shows off well the tangy character of their musicianship.

They pay homage to their great musical compatriot Ferenc Liszt in three rarely-heard and delicious transcriptions for piano trio, and they introduce us to his successor, a contemporary of Bartók and Kodály, whose qualities are only just beginning to be made known: László Lajtha. Lajtha like Liszt, spent valuable musical time in Paris: and the spectre of Rameau can be discerned through dense cloud of paprika in the fiery Trio Concertant, while the 1930 Sonatine for violin and piano pays oblique homage to Bach.

The sparky enthusiasm of the Takács Trio certainly whets the appetite to hear more of Lajtha. More, too, over and over again, of Liszt’s mischievous makeover of his own Hungarian Rhapsody in which the Takács Trio sound like an oversize one-man gypsy band, and of this intriguing and virtuoso metamorphosis of Tristia from a La vallee d’Obermann.

* Worth hearing
** Worth considering
*** Worth buying

Hilary Finch

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