Along with his contemporaries Bartók, Kodály and Dohnányi, László Lajtha was one of the leading Hungarian composers in the first half of the twentieth century and his position as the country’s greatest symphonist of that time is unrivalled. Of his nine symphonies, Symphony No. 2, Op. 27 dates from 1938 and is an intense, sombre and brooding work as if foreshadowing the horrors of the war to come. When asked to compose incidental music for Georg Höllering’s film of T.S. Eliot’s Murder inthe Cathedral, Lajtha responded with three autonomous compositions of which one, the monumental Variations, Op. 44 from 1948, is recorded here. Volume 1 can be heard on Naxos 8.573643.