ARTIST: Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta (conductor)
COMPOSER: Zoltán Kodály
LABEL: Naxos  |  747313383870
Engineered Album, Classical
Producer of the Year, Classical
Orchestral Performance

Like his compatriot Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály wrote major orchestral scores that were deeply enriched by his researches into Hungarian folk music. The Dances of Galánta is full of swagger and vitality and the Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned for the Chicago Symphony’s 50th anniversary, is lush, sparkling and vivid. Like the Peacock Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song, a virtuoso showcase of sizzling effects, these scores reveal the brilliance of his orchestral colours and the indelible allure of Gypsy themes.



JoAnn Falletta

JoAnn Falletta serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony, and is the principal guest conductor of the Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. She has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. She served as principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2011 to 2014, with whom she made her debut at the BBC Proms in London and recorded works by Gustav Holst, E.J. Moeran and John Knowles Paine. Recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, winner of the Stokowski Competition, and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter conducting awards, Falletta became the first female conductor to lead a major American ensemble upon her appointment as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1999. She has received twelve ASCAP awards, served on the US National Council on the Arts and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As a champion of American music, she has presented over five hundred works by American composers including well over 100 world premieres. Her Naxos recordings include the double GRAMMY® Awardwinning disc of works by John Corigliano and GRAMMY® nominated discs of works by Tyberg, Dohnányi, Fuchs, Schubert, Respighi, Gershwin, Corigliano, Richard Strauss, Hailstork and Holst.

For more information, please visit: www.joannfalletta.com


Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra

Founded in 1935, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO), under music director JoAnn Falletta, is Buffalo’s leading cultural ambassador and presents more than 120 classics, pops and youth concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra’s permanent home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark, designed by Eliel and Eero Saarinen. The BPO has toured the United States and Canada, including several Florida Friends Tours with JoAnn Falletta. In 2013, the BPO made its 24th appearance at Carnegie Hall as a participant in the Spring For Music festival. In 2018, it will become the first American orchestra to perform at the Beethoven Easter Festival in Warsaw, Poland. Over the decades, the BPO has matured in stature under leading conductors, including William Steinberg, Josef Krips, Lukas Foss, Michael Tilson Thomas, Maximiano Valdés, Semyon Bychkov and Julius Rudel. During the tenure of JoAnn Falletta the BPO has rekindled its distinguished history of radio broadcasts and recordings, including the release of 40 new albums of diverse repertoire on the Naxos and Beau Fleuve labels. The Philharmonic’s Naxos recording of composer John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (8.559331), featuring soprano Hila Plitmann, received GRAMMY® Awards in the Classical Vocal Performance and Classical Contemporary Composition categories.

For more information, please visit: https://bpo.org/


"The sound is excellent, as is the orchestra. Falletta and Buffalo is a winning combination, and I’m glad they are making recordings." – Donald R Vroon, American Record Guide, May 2018

"Of similar architectural interest are Kodály’s Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song, written the year before. Again, the performance is marked out by its sense of care: the counterpoint of rhythms in Variations 6 and 7, the delicate sparkle in Var 10 and the steady climb to the theme’s final emancipation that ratchets up from Var 12 to the end are all well plotted here. The big moments come off fine but the journeys thereto enchant more. Kodály’s well-known dance sets speak more plainly, and we hear how good some of the Buffalo players are (notably the solo clarinet)." – Andrew Mellor, Gramophone, April 2018

"Falletta makes the best case I have heard for the piece [Kodály’s Concerto for Orchestra], much more vital than the composer’s own recording for DG… She supersedes my former favorite version by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (Collins Classics)…" – Phillip Scott, Fanfare, July 2018

"An outstanding quality of Falletta’s conducting is that she seems always to select the right tempos, which contributes to the clarity of her phrasing and thus the satisfaction of the results for the listener. That is certainly the case here. Naxos’ engineering is of high quality, enhancing any solos. On this disc, flute solos and at least one horn solo, are especially striking." – R. James Tobin, Classical Net, April 2018

"…the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta perform a major service here by recording Kodály’s comparatively rare Concerto for orchestra… The Variations on a Hungarian Folk Song of Kodály are also well worth a hearing: zippy little takes on the song that approach Bartók for economy. And if it’s beautiful tunes you’re after, the final Dances of Marosszék has one to rival anything in Bartók. A very satisfying hour-plus of Hungarian music, and Naxos gets excellent engineering results from Buffalo’s Kleinhans Music Hall, one of the finer among the older American symphony halls." James Manheim, AllMusic.com, February 2018

"What’s not to love? JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic offer another appealing and wholly successful program. Here are seventy-seven minutes of music that you really can sit down and play straight through. Give it a try and listen for yourself." – David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com, January 2018