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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: 12 minutes 5 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 14 'On the themes of Lavotta', Op 117
composer
1920

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The piano introduction starts with fragments of the theme and after a short violin cadenza we hear the typical dance theme in full. The melody is played twice in the violin – the second time with double-stops and chords. The next theme is, by contrast, quiet and mellow. Another violin cadenza leads into the slow and hearty theme with cimbalom-like accompaniment. A sudden change in tonality with a short and quick dance tune is followed by a recapitulation in the violin’s high register. Once again a change of mood brings us to the dancing, dotted tune, first in the piano, then together with the violin. This tune appears also in Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No 6. The second part of this tune has a short, slower motif. A series of variations uses both motifs. A short interlude continues with variations of the motif, and the work ends with an elaborate coda. János Lavotta (1764–1820) was a composer of recruitment (verbunkos) instrumental dance music.

from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2004

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