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Jenö Hubay and His Pupil Emil Telmányi
Jenö Hubay (violin)
Emil Telmányi (violin)
Gerald Moore, Annette Telmanyi, Ottó Herz, Pál Kiss (piano)
Mária Basilides (contralto)
Members of the Budapest Orchestra/Ferenc Fricsay
Orchestra of the Hungarian Academy/Nándor Szolt
Royal Orchestra, Copenhagen/Thomas Jensen
rec. 1928-59

Back in 1982 Danacord presented to 90-year old Emil Telmányi its new LP devoted to some of the recordings he had made, coupled with the complete sequence of 78s made by his own teacher, Jenö Hubay. And now, remastered and with the addition of three additional items, all by Telmányi, this is what has now emerged in the label’s reissue line.

Since that LP, the only CD that I know that has contained all Hubay’s 78s has been Biddulph’s LAB045, in which Hubay shared disc space with another teacher-executant, Carl Flesch. Some of Hubay’s many pupils have been tainted with the ‘Hubay vibrato’ question but fortunately this disc offers more limited and circumspect occasions to consider that limitation. As for the Master himself, recorded in 1928-29 when he was around 71 – a dangerous age for string players then and now - his playing is both stylistically and even technically accomplished and often fascinating. His Handel slow movement – actually accompanied by an orchestra under Nándor Szolt and not, as per the track listing, by pianist Ottó Herz – is notable for its profuse slides and grave nobility. Its disc-mate was the Bach ‘Air’ and despite a rather on-off vibrato and a veritable battery of scoops and inflexions, it too possesses a moving breadth. This ‘pops’ disc however is not as revealing as the sequence of his own music, of which there are five pieces. Any technical lapses are put into the shade by virtue of his stylish exploration of his own conceptions. He is especially fine in the Intermezzo, Op.40 and in the Czardas No.12, which generously extended to two 78 sides. Throughout the sequence one can admire his sheer zest and stylishness, his use of senza vibrato, his evocative dance rhythms and gypsy styled tonal resources, as well as endemic slides. There’s a tremendous flourish to end the ‘Hullamzo Balaton’ Czardas, where Herz manages to project real cimbalom-like playing. His long obbligato to famed contralto Mária Basilides shows another facet of his armoury. The transfers are pleasingly thistly and forward.

Danacord has already restored Telmányi’s Brahms sonatas as well as concerto outings and for that LP opted to pick and mix over nearly a quarter of a century of the violinist’s recordings, from 1935 to 1959. Its great coup was in issuing for the first time the unpublished 1935 recording of Hubay’s Les Fileuses, recorded for HMV in London with Gerald Moore. It still sounds fine. The selected pieces were recorded for HMV, Tono, Clangor, Qualiton, and Radiola. You will find over-insistent, tense vibrato and scoops in the otherwise suave reading of the Veracini Largo. Maybe HMV wanted a challenger in this work to the 1927 Columbia recording by another Hungarian Hubay pupil, Joseph Szigeti, but if so Telmányi comes out decidedly second best. His Chiabrano La caccia features lithe, slick bowing whilst his Dinicu-Heifetz Hora staccato is drolly dispatched. The Schumann piece is in his own attractive arrangement and the Saint-Saëns is from a good sounding 1947 Tono; some of this selection has negligible surface noise. In addition to Les Fileuses there are two other pieces by his teacher – the famous Hejre Kati, which Hubay never recorded, and Scene de la Csarda no.2, op.13 'Kis furulyam’, the former recorded in 1959 and the latter in wartime Budapest with Ferenc Fricsay conducting the orchestra.

It's splendid to have these recordings back in expanded form.

Jonathan Woolf

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Orchestral Suite no.3 in D major, BWV1068; II Air 'Air on the G string' [3:57]
Carlo CHIABRANO (1723-1776)
La caccia [3:00]
Grigoras DINICU (1889-1949)
Hora staccato [2:10]
George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759)
Sonata No.9 in B minor: Larghetto [4:43]
Jenö HUBAY (1858-1937)
Intermezzo, op.40 [4:12]
Les Fileuses [3:57]
Pieces caracteristiques (10), op.79; no.9 Berceuse [4:26]
Scene de la Csarda no.2, op.13 'Kis furulyam' [9:02]
Scene de la Csarda no.4, op.32 'Hejre Kati' [6:18]
Scene de la Csarda no.5, op.33 'Hullamzo Balaton' [5:43]
Scene de la Csarda no.12, op.83 'Piczi tubiczam' [8:13]
Ugy-e Jani? op.92 [4:33]
Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, op.28 [9:01]
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Romances (3), op.28; no.2 in F sharp major [3:12]
Francesco VERACINI (1690-1768)
Largo [3:29]

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