Who actually wrote Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dances?
Brahms probably heard most of these tunes as a child growing up in Hamburg, played by the Gypsy orchestras that were famous for their “Hungarian” dance tunes. These passionate and high-spirited melodies fascinate with their abrupt changes of mood, fanciful reveries and extravagant embellishments. Brahms may even have written a few of the melodies himself! But his hand is evident in the lush harmonies and emotional depth. This version for violin and piano was arranged by Brahms’ friend Joseph Joachim, the greatest violinist of his generation.
The dances are played brilliantly by violinist Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, who captures flawlessly the wild exuberance and deep sorrow of these alluring tunes. Fabio Bidini is the ideal collaborator, and together they have produced an album of uncommon beauty and appeal.