"Lyrit's well-transferred collection of BBC broadcasts featuring the Corporation's Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Nikolai Malko, part of the Itter Broadcast Collection, has to be one of the most signigicant 'historical' orchestral releases in recent years...This is a musically enriching set and our experience of Nikolai Malko's art duly extended." Gramophone, Feb 2016
“Considering the age and provenance of these recordings, the audio quality is more than acceptable. The excellent annotations, which provide biography, background and context are supplied by Rob Barnett, and run to thirty-eight pages, including a full English text of Kodály’s ‘The Spinning Room’. If that weren’t enough, the text is sprinkled with beautifully produced black and white photographs… I come away from this 4 CD set in the firm belief that Nikolai Malko is a conductor well worth getting to know.” Stephen Greenbank, musicweb-international.com
The Lyrita label (1952) as a whole emerged from founder Richard Itter’s penchant for taping BBC transmissions and archiving them. In 2014, the Lyrita Recorded Edition Trust obtained permissions to release selective performances to the public, and this current set devoted to Russian conductor Nicolai Malko (1883-1961) comes as a direct result Itter’s conscientious preservation of these historic performances. Conductor Malko maintained a working relationship with the BBC from 1929 until his passing in 2014.
The 1924 one-act theater-piece The Spinning Room of Zoltan Kodaly would be rare enough, even if performed in Budapest in its native Hungarian. In that country, its major disciple had been Janos Ferencsik. Here (3 February 1960), as produced in English with Malko and singers Elizabeth Simon, soprano; Norma Proctor and Kathleen Joyce, contraltos; Duncan Robertson, tenor; Denis Dowling, baritone; and Owen Brannigan, bass – we have only the second time the BBC had mounted the work since 1932, when Kodaly led the score. Ostensibly, the work represents a Transylvania folk-ballad in operatic style in seven scenes, some more or less politically allegorical, but in the main devoted to faithful domestic love. A residue of homely charm pervades the work; and the individual vocal talents, including the BBC Chorus, all performing at the Royal Festival Hall, impress with their sincerity of purpose. Gary Lemco, audaud.com