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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67498
Recording details: December 2004
Caird Hall, Dundee, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: February 2006
Total duration: 24 minutes 32 seconds

'Hagai Shaham is something very special indeed with a sound that reminds me of Heifetz at his most silkily seductive. Both of these blazingly romantic works should be in concert halls the world over' (Gramophone)

'Hagai Shaham does wonders for these neglected scores, playing with beguiling purity throughout the range, and a heart-felt intensity that makes the most of Hubay's penchant for soaring E-string melody. Typically alert and sensitive backing from the BBC Scottish SO under the direction of Martyn Brabbins and luxury sound round out an excellent release' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The performances are uniformly excellent: Hagai Shaham is a supple soloist and gives the music all the support he can' (The Guardian)

'With Shaham, Hubay's legacy is in very safe hands indeed. He delivers these works with a solid technique and commanding authenticity. The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins provide rather more than just support, aided by a reasonably natural recorded balance which lets Hubay's colouristic touches have full effect' (International Record Review)

'You wonder why all three works are not in the repertoire of every violinist. But then not every violinist sounds like Shaham. He really is something very special indeed. It almost goes without saying that that BBC Scottish and Brabbins provide their customary exemplary, colourful support. Earmarked for one of my discs of the year' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hubay's works should come as a most welcome addition to the recorded repertoire and Shaham's performances as an enthusiastic introduction. Recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'The virtuosic demands of Hubay’s music are more than adequately met by the formidable technique of violinist Hagai Shaham. One has to admire and be grateful to such musicians as he, for learning the music on this disc probably carries with it little promise that concert engagements of Hubay’s music will follow' (MusicWeb International)

'On retrouve dans cet album toutes les qualités de jeu du soliste qui nous avaient séduits dans les précédents volumes, finesse de timbres, agilité, panache, sobriété de style … Shaham fait preuve une fois encore d'une virtuosité scintillante' (Diapason, France)

Violin Concerto No 2 in E major, Op 90
composer
circa 1900

Allegro con fuoco  [11'11]
Larghetto  [7'02]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Violin Concerto No 2 in E major Op 90 was composed in about 1900 and dedicated to Oscar Studer. It begins with an exposition of a folk-like first theme played by the full orchestra. The solo violin enters with triplet figurations before the main theme recurs in a sequence of shifting tonalities; the soloist then presents the quieter contrasting second theme. The development section uses motifs from the two main themes before a third idea—a quicker tune based on triplets and syncopations—leads to the recapitulation. This movement concludes with solo-violin passagework and arpeggios suspended over the main theme in the orchestra; there is no cadenza.

In the second movement, Larghetto, the solo violin presents a lyrical and Romantic ‘song without words’ followed by improvisatory variations. The middle section portrays a dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra, and after a reprise of the opening song-like theme the movement ends with the high-pitched tone of the violin. The final Allegro non troppo opens with an orchestral introduction based on a repeated motif before the soloist presents a short and joyful dance theme. The rondo-like first part repeats this theme with the soloist elaborating on it with technically demanding variations. A short intermezzo presents a quiet minor-key melody before the rondo tune returns and leads to a brilliant coda.

from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2006

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