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