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Opera fantasies for violin -
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'... engaging musical finesse.'

Opera Fantasies for Violin. © 2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd

How gratifying to have a bit of pyrotechnical fun with Carmen by someone other than Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) or Franz Waxman (1906-1967).

Jeno Hubay was no slouch when crafting coruscating violin showpieces; his shimmering Zephyr is a case-in-point and this lesser-known Carmen gallimaufry is a guaranteed audience winner. Furthermore Sohn tackles it in precise, impressive, captivating style -- just the ticket to open her diamantine programme of operatic fantasies.

Listen -- Hubay: Fantasie brillante on Bizet's Carmen (track 1, 3:25-4:35)
© 2007 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Hubay (1858-1937) -- christened Eugen Húber -- composed and toured widely. From 1881 to 1886 he followed in the footsteps of Henri Vieuxtemps and Wieniawski as Professor of Violin at Brussels Music Institute.

Returning to Hungary in 1886 he became his father's successor as head of the Budapest College of Music.

From 1919 to 1934 he was the Director of the Budapest Acadamy of Music where he created one of the world's leading violin schools. Among his protégés; Stefi Geyer, Ferenc Vecsey, Jozsef Szigeti, Emil Telmanyi, Jelly Aranyi, Jeno Ormandy, Erna Rubinstein, Zoltan Szekely and Andre Gertler.

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Copyright © 7 May 2008 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand


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