Did someone say Volume 11 of Jeno Hubay's works for violin and piano? For a composer who just a few years ago was almost completely unknown to now be receiving such a great deal of attention is a testament to the perseverance of musicologists and our desire to hear new music. Hubay's prolific output for this genre is directly related to how he made a living. Although he was active as a teacher, a good portion of his time was spent as a touring, performing musician. As such, much of his output was for himself, and a great deal of that was devoted to showy, virtuosic works. Volume 11 of Hungaroton's survey of these compositions is primarily devoted to the so-called "Poems," works that were all ostensibly based on actual literary works, although Hubay did not consistently provide listeners or publishers with the details. These are almost entirely show pieces, with the piano part serving a purely accompanimental role. Performing here, as in the previous volumes, is violinist Ferenc Szecsodi, whose playing is generally solid but not always perfectly suited for some of the pyrotechnics Hubay demands. Some of the extremely high-register playing is a bit screechy and intonation is sometimes approximate. Still, Szecsodi likely has a better understanding of Hubay's music than probably anyone else around, and his characteristic Hungarian gypsy sound is suited for these works.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Poèmes hongrois, for violin & piano, Op. 27|
|Morceaux Caracteristiques (5), for violin & piano, Op. 51|
|Poèmes d'après François Coppée (3), for violin & piano, Op. 56|
|Nouveaux poèmes hongrois, for violin & piano, Op. 76|
|Morceaux (2), for violin & piano, Op. 110|