American Record Guide

Rózsa: Duo for Cello & Piano; Goldmark: Sonata; Liszt: Consolations

This Hungarian program looks a bit esoteric on paper, but listening to it is a pleasure. Miklós Rózsa (1907-95) is known to all as a master composer of movie scores. Left to his own devices, he is a gutsy nationalist whose Duo consists of a fine, concise sonata movement and a colorful theme & variations. It’s an early work of 1931 and sounds trather like Zoltán Kodály, whose two-movement sonata may have been a model. Then we have Karl Goldmark (1830-1915), who is usually associated in my mind with Germany, but is here claimed by the Hungarians, having been born in Galicia. At any rate his rich-etxtured cello sonata sounds like Brahms with a higher density of chromaticism, full of a roving kind of energy that will repay rehearing: three movements in 17 minutes. Finally, Franz Liszt’s 6 Consolations transcribed by the Belgian cellist Jules de Swert during Liszt’s lifetime. The composer was pleased, remarking that he liked the new keys better than the original ones. The notes, by Tamás Várkonyi, give a detailed description of the pieces, their origin and hidden meanings. Very helpful. This is the intimate Liszt, thoughtful and concise, sounding very effective on cello.

Szabó and Karusz make a fine pair, gauging each performance to the style of the music and highly musical in their phrasing, technically impeccable. The recording is warm and clean.


Péter Szabó cellist, conductor, music editor
Péter Szabó's recordings are available on