ZADOR: Festival Overture (1963).Variations on a Hungarian Folksong (1919). Symphony No. 3 "Dance Symphony" ((1936).
Budapest Symphony Orchestra/Marius Smolij, cond.
NAXOS 8.573274 TT: 71:03
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STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben, Op. 40. MAGNARD: Chant funebre, Op. 99
Lille National Orchestra/Jean-Claude Casadesus, cond.
NAXOS .8.573563 TT: 61:07
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REICH: Mallet Quartet. Sextet. Magoya Marimbas. Music for Pieces of Wood.
Third Coast Percussion
Cedille 161 TT: 62:28
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J. S. BACH: Concerto in C minor, BWV 1060. Concerto in F, BWV 1053. J. C. BACH: Quartet inB flat, WB 60 for Oboe, Violin, Viola and Cello. C. P. E. BACH: Concerto in E flat, H. 468.
Jared Hauser, oboe. Carolyn Huebl, violin.
Blair Sinfoniette//he Atlantic Ensemble/Robin Fountain, cond.
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American nationalized Hungarian composer Ernest (Jano) Zador (1894 - 1970), was active in musical circles in Vienna and Hungary. He studied with Bartók and Reger (two unlikely tutors!), and there are occasional traces of Bartók's Hungarian style in Zador's music. After World War II he came to the United States where he had a successful career composing music for films and
making orchestrations for Miklos Rozsa. Zador also wrote several operas, a number of concertos and orchestral works. Naxos admirably is making it possible for us to hear some of this. On two previous disks they featured the Oboe Concerto, works for string orchestra, Children's Symphony, and his most famous work, Hungarian Caprice. The third disk offers the Dance Symphony, which receives its premiere recording, and this is the first complete recording of Variations. Zador's Hungarian folk tune variations aren't as inventive as those of Bartók or Kodalys but surely worth a listen. The Symphony No. 3 was premiered conducted by Hans Knappertsbusch in 1937. It
is considered to be the composer's homage to his adopted country. There are four movements to this light-hearted work. The latest work on this disk is the 1863 Festive Overture, which hardly lives up to its title. Zadok has an important place in music history, and we are fortunate to have the
opportunity to hear his music in fine performances, well recorded. There are countless recordings of Richard Strauss’ massive symphonic poem Ein Heldenleben, so any new one has incredible competition. The Naxos audiio is excellent if not outstanding.

release has little to offer. Jean-Claude Casadesus (son of famed pianist Robert) enjoys an extensive podium career, guest conducting many major orchestras . He founded the Lille National Orchestra in 1979 and recorded extensively with them. However, he shows no particular affinity for Strauss,
and his orchestra surely cannot match the perfection of many other orchestras that have recorded this music. The only interest here is the 14-minute Chant funèbre by French composer Albéric Magnard (1865-1914). From a wealthy family, he was a noted author and a lawyer who then entered the music world and studied with Massenet and D’Indy. His life ended in 1914 when German soldiers attacked and set fire to his home in France. His works include operas, chamber music and four symphonies. Chant funèbre, written in 1895 in memory of his father, is mostly sad in nature with a touch of hope. Magnard’s music is seldom performed and for good reason. This disk is unexceptional sonically, and there are a few extraneous thumps
throughout, the first at :30 into Heldenleben.

American composer Steve Reich (b. 1936) was a leader in avant-garde Minimalist music in the 1960s (along with Terry Riley and Philip Glass). His music for percussion instruments created a sensation, although by later standards, it is relatively modest. Here we have a terrific collection of
some of his imaginative works, many featuring marimbas. All are played to perfection by the superb Third Coast Percussion group. Absolutely delightful throughout, and the wide-range engineering captures all of the instruments’ beauty. Thank you Cedille!

For those who love the Baroque oboe, Blue Griffin has provided a feast featuring master American oboist Jared Hauser (b.1971). Hauser is known as an educator, has appeared many times as soloist, and has a particular interest in contemporary music. He has commissioned works from many
composers including Libby Larsen, whose Monk's Oboe for oboe and string quartet he recently premiered. On this new CD we have a collection of concertos, mostly composed originally for the oboe. All are elegantly played, with perfect accompaniment from the expert ensemble directed by Robin Fountain. Natural audio, with the soloist perfectly placed.

R.E.B. (February 2016)