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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67441/2
Recording details: April 1998
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Produced by Eric Wen
Engineered by Vadim Beili
Release date: March 2004
Total duration: 5 minutes 46 seconds

'If ever there were a case of 'the singer, not the song' it's here with these Scènes de la csárda, attractive music played with the sort of heart-tugging abandon that many of us only know from old 78s. A happy tale from start to finish, kitsch of the highest order served with style and panache by Shaham and his excellent pianist Arnon Erez. With comprehensive annotation by Amnon Shaham and first rate production by Eric Wen (a fine violinist and teacher) this seems set to become a benchmark recording' (Gramophone)

'It's music that needs passionate advocacy if it's not to sound trite, and Hagai Shaham, who's already made an outstanding disc of two of Hubay's Violin Concertos, has it in his soul' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Hagai Shaham has tremendous flair, extraordinary technical facility, and an organic musical sense that makes it difficult to stop listening' (American Record Guide)

'The quality and commitment of the playing, beautifully recorded, gives considerable if unchallenging pleasure' (The Strad)

'Hagai Shaham's achievement here is heroic, and a monument to violin playing … if you are a violin sort of person, and the repertoire appeals, then buy these discs with confidence, as a tribute to a unique act of devotion to the cause by Shaham and Erez' (Fanfare, USA)

'Scènes de la csárda could certainly be one of the records of the year' (

'Voici sans doute le plus bel hommage rendu au père fondateur de l'école hongroise de violon … un répertoire rare, servi de magistrale façon' (Diapason, France)

Scènes de la csárda No 4 'Hejre Kati', Op 32

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The fourth of the Scènes is the most famous of the set. It is based on three well-known melodies popular at the end of nineteenth century. The first originates from The Yellow Stallion (1877), and is still in the repertoire of many gypsy bands today. The words for the song read as follows: ‘I am the bad man of the village / Every dog barks at me from afar, / Not my father, nor my mother were wicked, / Only I, and I alone, am the villain.’ The next theme appears in The Love of a Young Baron (1875) composed by Lujza Oláh. The lyrics by the poet Erkel read: ‘Dark-red wine I’ve drunk tonight’ and concludes ‘Even being drunk – the girls still love me!’ The final bouncy tune which ends the work was also used by Brahms in his Hungarian Dance No 21, and is interrupted briefly by a slower melody.

from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2004

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