Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67439

Nuit exotique

composer
1924

Hagai Shaham (violin), Arnon Erez (piano)
Recording details: February 2004
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Eric Wen
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: February 2005
Total duration: 8 minutes 21 seconds
 
1
Nuit exotique  [8'21]

Reviews

'Bloch's first Sonata given a 'devastating performance' … If there is any justice, this fine new recording will win these undervalued works new friends. Please try these sonatas, whether or not you already know them' (BBC Radio 3 CD Review)

'With fine engineering, realistically balanced, and excellent annotation, this is a digital front-runner' (Gramophone)

'Mix Bartok, Debussy and a dash of Lisztian bravado and you'll get something very close to Bloch's folksong-inflected, post-Romantic sound-world. Intoxicating performances guaranteed to set the pulse racing' (BBC Music Magazine)

'In both works, Shaham meets Bloch's extreme technical demands without flinching; and his timbral control is dazzling throughout (his ability to spin silk at the top of his register is especially astonishing). Pianist Arnon Erez seconds him admirably, whether the score demands that he engage in intricate give-and-take with the violinist or that he slip off into a different world entirely' (International Record Review)

'Played with lean intensity and dead-centre intonation reminiscent of the young Heifetz, these neglected works come fizzing off the page to mesmerising effect' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hagai Shaham…(compared to Isaac Stern's recording of the first sonata) plays with similar intensity if not with equally ecstatic frenzy … Hagai Shaham, who has championed the music of violinist-composers Joseph Achron and, more recently, Jenö Hubay, produces a steely rather than a sumptuous tone. His grandiloquent oratorical flourishes, as well as his edgy technical display, therefore flash like tempered steel, however, leaving the least trace of coldness … So another disc or so from Shaham could encompass everything Bloch wrote for the violin (and perhaps even include the concerto). Given the strong appeal of this initial offering, that's a consummation devoutly to be wished. Highly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'Shaham impresses in all aspects of these sonatas. His manner is fiery, his tone is full-bodied from a top of great purity to a bottom deep and resonant, and he tosses off the virtuoso passages with aplomb. Erez is a full partner, sometimes coming close to usurping the lead, which can be all to the good here. He roams the keyboard with assurance, playing with crisp exactitude and full-bodied tone' (ClassicsToday.com)

'Here Shaham and Erez play with wonderful empathy and understanding, undoubtedly this is music that they feel with a deep passion. The aching Molto quieto is also very beautiful whilst the concluding Moderato really kicks off a whirlwind of activity that has Shaham on true top form…this whole disc is a definite must for lovers of solo violin especially those with a penchant for Bloch's unique music' (Classical.net)

'It's a credit to Shaham and accompanist Arnon Erez that this work carries such a punch. Bloch's knowledge of the violin—he was taught by a master in Ysaye—means that the passagework is frequently taxing, but with this completely under his fingers Shaham has no worry' (MusicOHM.com)

'Hagai Shaham confirms a remarkable talent, which goes far beyond the technical performance … This disc is essential at the head of a rather thin but high level catalogue [of this repertoire]' (Diapason, France)

'Bloch of emotions: vehemence and serenity, stud and certainty, poetry, brutality, sensuality, spirituality: the interpretation which is delivered to us by Hagai Shaham and Arnon Erez is of an incredible richness … But it is especially the interpretation of the five works which confers all its richness. There Hagai Shaham signs one of the most beautiful versions of these partitions: all is translated in a way subtle and inspired by a bow of an absolute control, a sumptuous sonority and a vibrato of an infinite diversity… in this album, Hagai Shaham and Arnon Erez, which one will never say enough the virtues of executants and especially of interpreters, reach the level of excellence' (Classica, France)
Nuit exotique was one of several written at a time in which Bloch explored the theme of ‘night’. The long sensual theme with which the work begins and ends is separated by a middle section consisting of shorter and sharper motifs. Josef Szigeti was the dedicatee.

from notes by Alexander Knapp © 2005

Nuit exotique fait partie de ces pièces que Bloch consacra à l’exploration de la «nuit». Le long thème sensuel qui l’ouvre et la ferme est séparé par une section médiane constituée de motifs plus courts et incisifs. Josef Szygeti en fut le dédicataire.

extrait des notes rédigées par Alexander Knapp © 2005
Français: Hypérion

Nuit exotique war eines der Stücke aus jener Zeit, in denen Bloch das Thema Nacht erkundete. Das lange, sinnliche Thema, mit dem das Werk beginnt und schließt, wird von einem aus kürzeren und schärferen Motiven bestehenden Mittelteil unterbrochen. Der Widmungsträger ist Josef Szigeti.

aus dem Begleittext von Alexander Knapp © 2005
Deutsch: Elke Hockings