The Romantic Piano Concerto series (currently at volume 31) has become one of Hyperion’s most popular projects to date, and this disc should help guide The Romantic Violin Concerto series to similar critical acclaim.
Hubay’s 3rd concerto mirrors the format of the piano concertos of Liszt (with whom he studied composition) in that it is performed without a break between the movements. The 4th concerto adheres to a more traditional baroque format regarding structure, melody and harmony, hence it’s title. The third work on the disc comprises a theme and twelve variations. All three works are virtuosic display pieces comparable to the concertos of Wieniawski and Vieuxtemps, and call for much pyrotechnics from the soloist.
Hubay is widely acknowledged as the founder of the ‘Hungarian school’ of violin playing. His list of prodigies includes the virtuoso violinist Ilona Fehér who went on to teach Hagai Shaham. The sonorous, round and broad tone that is the main beauty of the Hubay-school is unmistakable in Shaham’s performance here, making this a stunning first recording for Hyperion.