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Hyperion Records

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The Solitary Cedar (1907) by Tivador Csontvary Kosztka (1853-1919)
Csontvary Museum, Pecs, Hungary / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67735
Recording details: June 2008
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Produced by Eric Wen
Engineered by Zvi Hirshler
Release date: July 2009
Total duration: 5 minutes 12 seconds

'Shaham's pungent, occasionally acidic string tone is perfect for Weiner's mixture of extravagance and cool … great elegance and flamboyant ease' (The Guardian)

'Highly enjoyable … full of charm and wit … the playing is exemplary … Shaham and Erez make the best possible case for these pieces, duly wearing hearts on sleeve where appropriate' (International Record Review)

'Hagai Shaham plays with a large, richly Romantic tone and a feeling for the grand gestures in which the music delivers its message and the ethnic matrix from which it emerged. But he also has the virtuosic flair to put across the most flamboyant numbers' (Fanfare, USA)

'The excellent Israeli violinist Hagai Shaham and his accompanist of many years Arnon Erez (together they won the 1990 ARD Competition) have recorded Leo Weiner’s two magnificent early violin sonatas … with such devotion and such a feeling for the sensual glow of this music that, from the very first bar, one is totally transfixed by the art of their musical seduction … Hagai Shaham links a perfect technique with the mesmerizing beauty of his fiery sound; he embodies the ideal Hungarian gipsy-violinist, the highly cultivated Prince Charming who will give it 'his all' to cast a spell on his listeners … nowadays, violinists with such charisma have become very rare and should therefore be especially cherished … the old-fashioned magic of Shaham’s sound' (Stereoplay, Germany)

Három magyar népi tánc 'Three Hungarian folk dances'
composer
originally composed for piano solo and for piano duet
arranger

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Három magyar népi tánc (‘Three Hungarian folk dances’) were originally composed for piano solo—the lively Rókatánc (‘Fox dance’) is a familiar encore piece for Eastern European pianists—and also for piano duet; the transcription for violin and piano is by Tibor Ney. The Marosszéki keringös (‘Ronde from Marossék’), as its name implies, is a tune from the Marosszék region of Transylvania, which is particularly rich in folk-dance music, both sung and played, much of which Hungarian ethnomusicologists consider to derive from a more remote past than the music of other regions. (Kodály made it famous in his popular Dances from Marosszék.) The vivacious Csürdöngölö (‘Peasants’ dance’) is a type of fast Csárdás, requiring to be played with apparent abandon while actually paying close attention to rhythmic precision.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2009

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