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CD Review

Jenő Hubay

Works for Violin & Piano

  • Scènes de la csárda
  • Poèmes hongrois
  • Nouveaux poèmes hongrois
Hagai Shaham, violin
Arnon Erez, piano
Hyperion CDA67441/2 150m DDD
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Hyperion has already given importance to this seminal Hungarian composer with an issue of his violin concertos some months back. This double disc set features the immense talents of the violin wizard Hagai Shaham accompanied by the equally talented Arnon Erez in interpretations of three key solo works from Hubay's oeuvre.

The Scènes de la csárda are by far the longest work on disc lasting just under two hours and are split into fourteen distinct movements. Here we have an abundance of delightful folk melodies and some beautiful tunes that are truly a joy to listen to. The pieces that really impressed me were undoubtedly, 'My little flute', Op. 13, the bold and stirring 'Kossuth's melody' Op. 41 and the sprawling 'On the Themes of Lavotta' Op. 117, where the art of violin playing takes on an almost symphonic context.

'Poemes hongrois' Op. 27 are a short collection of pieces with the longest lasting just over three minutes and again we have Shaham and Erez on top form. Hubay revisited the genre some years later with his Op. 76 and these are a fitting conclusion to what is a truly joyful set. Both Jewish artists bring the nomadic nature of the music to the fore and the exhaustive notes make for intriguing and essential reading. Lovers of the folk music from Eastern Europe should not hesitate to acquire this handsomely presented set.

Copyright © 2004, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet