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Variations in E minor
dedicated to Pablo de Sarasate; first performed by Joachim on 15 February 1881 in Berlin

'Brahms & Joachim: Hungarian Dances' (CDA67663)
Brahms & Joachim: Hungarian Dances
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'Romantic novelties for violin and orchestra' (SIGCD224)
Romantic novelties for violin and orchestra
SIGCD224  Download only  
Track 7 on SIGCD224 [14'04] Download only
Part 01: Introduction: Allegretto
Part 02: Theme
Part 03: Variation 1
Part 04: Variation 2
Part 05: Variation 3
Part 06: Variation 4: Un pochettino pi¨ vivo
Part 07: Variation 5
Part 08: Variation 6
Part 09: Variation 7
Part 10: Variation 8
Part 11: Variation 9
Part 12: Variation 10
Part 13: Variation 11
Part 14: Variation 12
Part 15: Variation 13: Poco animato
Part 16: Variation 14
Part 17: Variation 15: Molto pi¨ moderato (Andantino)
Part 18: Variation 16: Quasi doppio (Allegro)
Part 19: Variation 17: Vivace
Part 20: Variation 18
Part 21: Finale: Allegro marcato ľ Poco animato

Variations in E minor
The dreamy, rhapsodizing introduction, in which the violin speaks with the unmistakable accents of the gypsy fiddler, is one of the few overtly ‘Hungarian’ passages in the work. The lyrical theme itself is announced by the piano, espressivo, and is then restated by the violin to form the first variation. The next four variations decorate the theme in progressively smaller note-values, giving the impression of a controlled acceleration that arrives at a ‘hunting’ variation with the violin in virtuosic counterpoint against horn-imitations in the piano. After a lively continuation in variation 7, variation 8 features the violin, unaccompanied, with impressive chords which are taken up by the piano in variation 9.

A new and pensive melody, sung by the violin over the theme’s original harmonies, forms variation 10 and leads to two expressive major-key variations (11 and 12) which, with 10, form a kind of central ‘slow movement’ in the sequence. The momentum picks up over the next four variations (13–16), culminating in another ‘hunting’ variation (17) shared between violin and piano. Variation 18 forms the introduction to the finale, a lively movement founded on a new violin theme that goes in combination with the original theme in the piano. This is a kind of rondo (and here Joachim again indulges in explicit colouring all’Ongarese) that races to a brilliant conclusion in E major.

from notes by Calum MacDonald ę 2008

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Details for CDA67663 track 37
Variation 14
Recording date
5 June 2007
Recording venue
Jerusalem Music Centre, Israel
Recording producer
Eric Wen
Recording engineer
Zvika Hershler
Hyperion usage
  1. Brahms & Joachim: Hungarian Dances (CDA67663)
    Disc 1 Track 37
    Release date: June 2008
    Deletion date: August 2014
    Archive Service
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