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Track(s) taken from CDA67367

Variations sur un thème hongrois, Op 72


Hagai Shaham (violin), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Martyn Brabbins (conductor)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
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Recording details: December 2002
Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, Scotland
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2003
Total duration: 15 minutes 35 seconds


'These last two of Hubay’s four violin concertos make a most attractive addition to Hyperion’s emergent series of Romantic violin concertos … The Israeli soloist Hagai Shaham has the advantage of having been taught by one of Hubay’s pupils, Ilona Feher. Not only does he relish the Hungarian inflections in a winningly idiomatic way, he plays with an ethereal purity in the many passages of stratospheric melody. As so often, Martyn Brabbins proves a most sympathetic partner, drawing committed playing from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, helped by beautifully balanced, cleanly focused recording' (Gramophone)

'This third volume in Hyperion's Romantic Violin Concerto series may make you wonder why Hubay's Third Concerto has escaped the attention of virtually every fiddle player from Heifetz to Hahn. If, like me, you're a sucker for lashings of blistering virtuosity, strong, well-contrasted melodic content, and a substantial orchestral contribution, I promise that you will not be disappointed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'The Hungarian's Third Violin Concerto is a masterly exercise in the vein of Mendelssohn, complete with passages of astonishing virtuoso display, which the soloist Hagai Shaham accomplishes m suitably florid style. The 11 Hungarian Variations and the "Antique" Fourth Concerto make similarly exciting listening' (The Independent)

'an outstanding violinist' (The Guardian)

'Hagai Shaham offers a deftly turned, heartfelt performance … The orchestral contribution is a winning ace' (International Record Review)

'glowing, flamboyant renditions' (Classic FM Magazine)

'This essentially fun record could have gone for nothing without the superb playing of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the redoubtable Martyn Brabbins, Andrew Keener's top-notch production values and, most especially, the jaw-dropping virtuosity of Hagai Shaham. Whatever Hubay throws at him, Shaham negotiates it with apparently nonchalant ease and invariably spotless intonation' (The Strad)

'Shaham, who has no competition in these two works, plays them with great stylistic authority, providing all the dash the showy but never meretricious parts require' (Fanfare, USA)

'Shaham’s combination of grace, wit, and ardency, well supported by Brabbins, shows Hubay’s lightweight romanticism in its best light' (The Irish Times)

'Hagai Shaham plays like a foremost virtuoso, performing with total equanimity, managing the most difficult passages, which flow from his instrument with ease, and backed by an orchestra on top form' (Hi-Fi Plus)

'Hagai Shaham plays like a major virtuoso … and genuinely seems to be enjoying himself with this beautifully crafted music … Hubay was a composer of substance, and this disc makes a very strong case for him. Do try to hear it' (Classics Today)

'Le violoniste israélien Hagai Shaham … en propose une vision pleine de panache au style exemplaire' (Diapason, France)
The set of eleven Variations on a Hungarian Theme in D minor Op 72 begins with the orchestra presenting part of the theme (four bars) as an introduction. The solo violin is the main protagonist in this work, and his entrance is already a sort of variation with the addition of two more bars, which breaks the metrical balance of the tune. The full theme is presented by the soloist after a slow cadenza-like interlude played on the G-string.

Each variation has a typical character: the first is made of two slurred bars alternating with fast staccato triplets, the second is a set of triplets in double stops, the third has pizzicato chords and fast, bowed low-pitched semi­quavers. The fourth variation is a duet between the flute and the violin’s harmonics. The mood relaxes in the fifth variation, which brings a slower contrapuntal melody. The sixth variation is in B flat minor with fast, rising figures, ending with a short cadenza. The seventh variation introduces fast arpeggios over a plucked accompaniment. In variation eight the tune is in the violas, while the solo plays a trilled figure and double stops. The ninth variation has the orchestral violins accompanied by chords from the soloist, a texture which is inverted in the next variation. The last variation recalls the beginning of the theme, before running triplets take us to the final cadenza—this brilliant piece of showmanship brings us back to the final recapitulation of the theme.

from notes by Amnon Shaham © 2003

Le recueil des onze Variations sur un thème hongrois en ré mineur opus 72 débute par l’énoncé partiel du thème (quatre mesures) à l’orchestre en guise d’introduction. Le violon soliste, le véritable protagoniste de cette œuvre, fait alors son entrée sous la forme d’une sorte de variation où sont ajoutées deux mesures, ce qui rompt l’équilibre métrique de la mélodie. Le thème est ensuite exposé dans son entier par le soliste après un court interlude aux allures de cadence réalisé sur la corde de sol.

Chaque variation révèle un caractère propre: la première est faite de deux mesures de notes liées alternant avec des triolets rapides staccato, la seconde fait appel au jeu de double corde en triolets, la troisième requiert des accords pizzicato et des coups d’archet rapides (en doubles croches) dans le registre grave de l’instrument. La quatrième variation est en fait un duo entre la flûte et les harmoniques du violon. Une atmosphère plus détendue prévaut pour la cinquième variation, qui apporte une mélodie contrapuntique plus lente. La sixième variation est en si bémol mineur avec des motifs rapides ascendants et se conclut par une courte cadence. La septième variation introduit des arpèges rapides sur un accompagnement de cordes pincées. Dans la huitième, la mélodie est dévolue aux altos tandis que le violon solo joue un motif trillé et des doubles cordes. La neuvième variation voit les violons de l’orchestre accompagnés par les accords du soliste, une texture qui est inversée dans la variation suivante. La dernière variation rappelle le début du thème avant que des triolets fluides ne conduisent vers la cadence finale—ce brillant morceau de bravoure nous ramène à la dernière reprise du thème.

extrait des notes rédigées par Amnon Shaham © 2003
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Die elf Variationen über ein ungarisches Thema in d-Moll, op.72, beginnen mit einem Teil des Themas (vier Takte), der vom Orchester als Einleitung gespielt wird. Die Solovioline ist in diesem Werk die Hauptdarstellerin und ihr Einsatz ist bereits eine Art Variation, wobei zwei Takte hinzugefügt werden, die die metrische Balance der Melodie zum kippen bringen. Das vollständige Thema wird von dem Solisten nach einem kurzen kadenzartigen Zwischenspiel auf der G-Saite präsentiert.

Jede Variation hat ein bestimmtes Charakteristikum: die erste besteht aus zwei gebundenen Takten, die von schnellen Staccato-Triolen unterbrochen werden, die zweite besteht aus Triolen in Doppelgriffen und die dritte hat Pizzicato-Akkorde und schnelle gestrichene Sechzehntel in tiefer Lage. Die vierte Variation ist ein Duett zwischen Flöte und den Obertönen der Violine. In der fünften Variation ist die Stimmung entspannter und eine recht langsame, kontrapunktische Melodie ertönt. Die sechste Variation steht in b-Moll, hat schnelle aufsteigende Figuren und endet mit einer kurzen Kadenz. In der siebten Variation ertönen schnelle Arpeggien über einer gezupften Begleitung. In der achten Variation haben die Bratschen die Melodie während die Solovioline eine Trillerfigur und Doppelgriffe zu spielen hat. In der neunten Variation werden die Violinen im Orchester von Akkorden des Soloinstruments begleitet, eine Anordnung, die in der nächsten Variation umgekehrt wird. Die letzte Variation greift den Anfang des Themas auf, bevor rasende Triolen zur Schlusskadenz hinleiten—diese brillante und effektvolle Darbietung führt uns zur letzten Reprise des Themas.

aus dem Begleittext von Amnon Shaham © 2003
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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