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Hyperion Records

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Three Trees (1965) by Emil Parrag (b1925)
Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67699
Recording details: January 2009
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Produced by Eric Wen
Engineered by Zvi Hirshler
Release date: April 2010
Total duration: 5 minutes 35 seconds

'Shaham and Erez give an excellent performance [Dohnányi Sonata], Shaham's seductive tone and elegant phrasing being well matched by Erez's sensitive touch. The Ruralia hungarica pieces show the composer's more nationalistic side but are still farily traditional in their approach to folk material. Shaham is in his element here—the brilliant final piece carefree and dashing in style, the preceding, improvisatory Andante rubato alla zingaresca graceful and stylish' (Gramophone)

'The strongly Brahmsian Sonata [Dohnányi] is given a warm and affectionate reading, the central variation movement imaginatively characterised with Shaham's honeyed tone proving an ideal foil for Arnon Erez's bold and dynamic piano playing. But it's the more folksy Ruralia hungarica that draws the most compelling performance, Shaham negotiating the challenging violin pyrotechnics of the outer movements with impressive powerhouse playing as well as delivering a wonderfully atmospheric Andante rubato alla Zingaresca' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Hagai Shaham gives a deliciously rich and eloquent account of Dohnányi's Violin Sonata … it is thrilling, captivating playing, joyous and tender … there are sumptuous moments in Janáĉek's Sonata, too, but this is darker stuff, and Shaham brings to it a gentle sensibility … the rapport between Shaham and Arnon Erez, itself a notable feature of the disc, is quite wonderful in the tricky ensemble and fractured discourse of this sonata' (The Strad)

Romance, JW VII/3
16 November 1879; composition exercise written for Oscar Paul; manuscript entitled '4. Romance'

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Romance was one of seven pieces of that title which Janácek composed as an exercise for Oscar Paul, his teacher at the Leipzig Conservatory, in 1878–9, and the only one that happens to survive. In the autograph manuscript, which was discovered in 1930 in the archive of the Teachers’ Institute at Brno, it is called 4. Romance (‘Romance No 4’). The score is dated 16 November 1879 and it is evidently the piece about which Janácek wrote to a friend on 17 November that Paul had liked it but thought it too ‘massive’ (‘wüchtig’) for a Romance. It is quite extended, with much careful imitation in the piano and quite a massive climax, but it is likely to impress the listener particularly for its sustained outpouring of romantic lyricism.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2010

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