Philippe Graffin / Claire Désert

Hungarian Dances

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

The title of this Onyx album, Hungarian Dances, does not appear to be overly original on its surface. What is unique, however, is from where it draws its inspiration. Rather than assembling a random program of Hungarian Dances, violinist Philippe Graffin selects his program in part from references made by Jessica Duchen's novel Hungarian Dances. With so many obvious opportunities for collaboration between the various arts, it's a shame that cooperative efforts like this one don't occur more often. For those who have read Duchen's novel, this album is a practically indispensible companion, adding an entirely new level of understanding to the writing. For those just in it for the music, this album still provides an engaging and varied set of pieces, many of which may be completely unfamiliar. A student of Josef Gingold, Graffin has the Hungarian, gypsy-quality sound totally mastered, playing with just the right amount of gruff aggressiveness and flamboyancy. His interplay with pianist Claire Desert is sparkling and entirely symbiotic. Intonation is generally quite solid, although some pitches escape Graffin in the highest registers of his instrument. In this style of music, however, precision is not always necessary or even desired, and listeners will almost surely appreciate Graffin's efforts.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
6:12
2
3:15
3
4:39
Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1
4
3:07
5
2:46
6
6:50
7
3:58
Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1
8
3:31
9
6:03
Romanian Folk Dances (7) for violin & piano (arranged by Zoltán Szekely from piano version), Sz. 56, BB 68
10
1:27
11
0:33
12
1:11
13
1:30
14
0:30
15
0:56
16
2:53
17
4:34
Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1
18
2:32
19
3:07
Duos (44) for 2 violins, Volumes 1-4, Sz. 98, BB 104
20
0:18
21
2:17
22
0:36
23
1:21
24
0:51
Hungarian Dances (21) for orchestra, WoO 1
25
2:02
26
2:29
blue highlight denotes track pick