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Jenö HUBAY (1858-1937)
Scènes de la Csarda

No. 2 Op.13 My Little Pipe (1883) [12:52]
No. 3 Op.18 The Waters of the river Maros flow gentle (1885) [7:16]
No. 4 Op.32 Hey Kati [Hejre Kati] (1889) [5:57]
No. 5 Op.33 The waves of Lake Balaton (1889) [6:03]
No. 7 Op.41 Kossuth’s Song – orchestrated David Wish [8:29]
No.8 Op.60 So they say [9:59]
No. 12 Op.83 My Little Turtle Dove (c.1898) [7:32]
No. 14 Op.117 On Themes of Lavotta
Charles Castleman (violin)
Eastman Chamber Orchestra/Mendi Rodan
Bonus CD: Hubay and his Pupils play Hubay - Rare historical recordings newly restored 

Intermezzo from The Violin Maker of Cremona (1894)
Jenö Hubay (violin) with Otto Herz (piano), recorded 1928 [4:15]
Franz von Vecsey (violin) with unnamed piano [3:48]
Harry Solloway (violin) with Waldemar Liachowsky (piano) recorded 1925 [3:49]
Poem Hongroise, Op.27 No. 6 [2:07]
Jelly D'Arányi (violin) with Ethel Hobday (piano) recorded c.1922
Zephyr, Op.30 No. 5 (1889)
Ibolyka Zilzer (violin) with Michael Raucheisen (piano) recorded c.1928 [3:24]
Joseph Szigeti (violin) with unnamed pianist, recorded c 1942-44 [3:22]
Scene de la Csárda No. 5, Op.33 (1889) [4:35]
Ibolyka Zilzer (violin) with Michael Raucheisen (piano) recorded c.1928
Mazurka in a, Op.45 No. 1 [3:28]
Ibolyka Gyárfás (violin) with unnamed pianist, recorded c.1917
Scene de la Csárda No.8, Op.60 [4:03]
Mary Zentay (violin) with Jaques Grunberg (piano)
Scene de la Csárda No.12, No.2
Duci de Kerekjárto (violin) with Maurice Eisner (piano) [4:10]
Emil Telmányi (violin) with the Budapest Orchestra/Ferenc Fricsay, recorded 1942 [9:09]
Les Fileuses [4:04]
Emil Telmányi (violin) with Gerald Moore (piano)
Scene de la Csárda No.4 [6:24]
Emil Telmányi (violin) with Annette Telmányi (piano) recorded 1959
Scene de la Csárda No.3 [6:47]
Joseph Szigeti (violin) with Andor Földes (piano) recorded 1941
MUSIC AND ARTS CD 1164 [68:11 + 66:00]


A feast for Hubay fans. The first disc is devoted to some of Hubay’s Scènes de la Csarda in performances by Charles Castleman with the Eastman Chamber Orchestra conducted by Mendi Rodan. And the second is a selection of historic 78s made by Hubay (one side) and his pupils. The whole thing is wrapped up by biographical and documentary information worthy of the project.

Castleman is just the man for the Csardas. He demonstrates the silkiest of portamentos in Op.60 whilst his harmonics are spot-on and his throbby vibrato extracts just the right quality of juice for it. The buoyant maritime delights of Op.18 surrender to such idiomatic playing. The harp is well balanced in Op.13. Its cimbalon evocations are adroitly done and the violin’s melancholy entry sets the scene. This multi-partite work is very difficult to put across without splintering; it works fine here. There’s some distinguished clarinet playing in Op.83. And Castleman, who must be very used to such things, relishes the Sarasate-drenched dramas of Op.41 Kossuth’s Song in this orchestration by Eastman graduate David Wish. But Castleman is just as adept at the more elegantly phrased aristocracies invoked by Hubay as he richly shows in Op.33 [The waves of Lake Balaton]. The depth of his rhythmic and tonal qualities are perhaps best savoured in Op.117, the last of the pieces presented here. Castleman’s evocative tonal reach in his lower strings is a real tonic. How unusual to hear Hejre Kati in its orchestral garb for once.

After Castleman’s contemporay elegance and panache we turn to a second disc packed with figures both great and smaller. The Master is here, from a side made in 1928 when he was seventy. He’s followed in turn by d’Aranyi in a fine sounding acoustic Vocalion and the collectable Harry Solloway on Polydor. Solloway was a fine player and is a particular enthusuasm of mine but the endemic Hubay vibrato problem can be heard in his otherwise splendid playing. It’s very useful to have given us two sides by Ibolyka Zilzer, who is otherwise a forgotten figure. Ibolyka Gyárfás, recorded around the end of the First World War, also displays the endemically slow vibrato, especially in the lower strings, that so plagued some Hubay pupils.

The Mary Zentay Edison is not so common so we can put up with the recessed sound-stage though again her slack vibrato is a problem. The early Vecsey Fonotipia is in good estate, nicely transferred, and in better nick than my own copy. The transfer engineer has done well by the two Duci de Kerekjárto discs. The violin is brought well forward and this makes for direct and enjoyable listening, and in fact a lot more enjoyable than listening to my own copy. Then there are some most unusual sides by Emil Telmányi. There’s a 1935 side with Gerald Moore – not issued on 78 but I think once available on Danacord DACO150. It was a real surprise to find his Hejre Kati from 1959 with Annette Telmányi . Of course his best days were long behind him but the only previously known recording was in the orchestral version with his own chamber orchestra conducted by Thomas Jensen. So, something of a coup, direct from the violinist’s estate. Szigeti, of course, earns a prominent place. The wartime transcription disc emphasises an already brittle tone but the understanding of the idiom naturally enough is powerful.

This then is a most rewarding two-disc set. It’s been thoughtfully compiled, very well transferred, and annotated and documented with intelligence. First class all round.

Jonathan Woolf


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