This third volume of Alexander Moyzes symphonies features two of his most popular symphonies.
Symphony No. 5 was dedicated to Moyzes father. Mikuláš Moyzes (1872–1944) was an early pioneer in creating a national style of classical composition. Alexander Moyzes demonstrates his mastery of this concept with this work.
The symphony uses elements of his father’s “Little Mountain Symphony.” Moyzes also uses the structure of Eastern Slovak folk dance, expanded to symphonic proportions. The result is a work that sparkles and dances. Its folk elements, while sublimated, still made it a popular work in Slovakia.
Several Moyzes’ major works are recycled from earlier efforts. His 1951 Symphony No. 6 uses material from his 1934 Concertino — which had been reclaimed from an even earlier abandoned piano concerto. Nevertheless, the symphony stands on its own merits. The material brings folk elements to the foreground in an appealing manner.
Of special note is the Largo, the middle of the five movements and the longest. Moyzes gives free rein to his melodies, creating a work of exceptional lyrical beauty.
Ladislav Slovák and the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra deliver fine performances. They understand the nationalistic subtext of Moyzes’ music, and subtly — and effectively — lean into it. The performances help us hear the uniqueness of Moyze’s style — and its appeal.
Alexander Moyzes: Symphonies Nos. 5 and 6
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra; Ladislav Slovák, conductor