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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: 8 minutes 38 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' (ClassicalSource.com)

'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 7 'Kosuth nóta', Op 41
composer
1891

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
No 7 is dedicated to the famous Hungarian violinist and pedagogue Leopold Auer, the teacher of Mischa Elman, Jascha Heifetz and Nathan Milstein. The title refers to Lajos Kossuth, the leader of the 1848 Hungarian battle for independence. The first main melody, composed in 1850, is known as the ‘Kossuth’ theme. The text reads: ‘Kossuth Lajos sent us message, / That he lost his regiments. / If he calls us again / All of us have to join him. / Long live the freedom! / Long live the Motherland!’ A slow introduction in the piano provides fragments of the theme. The violin soon enters with improvisatory passagework, before stating the melody against a tremolo piano accompaniment. The quick melody which follows was also used by Brahms in his Variations on a Hungarian Theme, Op 21 No 2. The lyrics of this melody read: ‘This girl is a cheat’. After two variations on this theme comes the four-bar fast dance tune which is also treated with variations. The ‘Kossuth’ theme makes a brief reappearance near the end of the piece, which closes with variations on the previous melodies.

from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2004

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