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100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas


Recordings of the Month


Che fai tù? - Villanelles

Cyrillus KREEK
The suspended harp of Babel

violin concertos - Ibragimova

Peteris VASKS
Viola concerto - Maxim Rysanov

The Complete Lotte Schöne


Beethoven String Quartets

Produzioni Armoniche

Seven Symphonic Poems

Shostakovich VC1 Baiba Skride
Tchaikovsky Symph 5 Nelsons

Vivaldi Violin Concertos





Grigory Feigin
Sergei TANEYEV (1856-1915)

Violin Sonata in A minor (1911) [23:50] Ļ
Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894)

Violin Sonata No.2 in A minor Op.19 (1860s) [33:24] Ļ
Nicolai MEDTNER (1880-1951)

Nocturne in D minor Op.16 No.1 (1908) [5:11] ≤
Leopold AUER (1845-1930)

Concert Tarantella [5:19] Ļ
Grigory Feigin (violin)
Victor Poltoratsky (piano) Ļ
Igor Chernyavsky (piano) ≤
rec. 1975 (Taneyev, Rubinstein) 1977 (Auer); 1984 (Medtner)

Experience Classicsonline



Feigin. Or Feyghin. RCD prefers the latter transliteration for the violinistís name in English but if Feigin is the preferred German spelling thatís how I and I suspect many a Miaskovskian will want it to remain. Because it was this splendid player who brought the latterís concerto into the consciousness of so many and who was the first after David Oistrakh to record the work. Itís surprising going over his discography to appreciate just how anomalous an undertaking that actually was. His principal records were of trio repertoire with - Iím assuming Ė his cellist brother and the pianist Zhukov. They recorded all the Beethoven trios and Brahmsís Op.8. But Feigin did venture a little into sonata waters and of Russian repertoire he taped Denisovís Sonata and Khandoshkinís Third solo sonata. Perhaps his biggest sonata undertaking though was to set down the three Medtner sonatas and Canzonas 1 and 2. But overall itís rather a spartan discography for so fine a player and very far less inclusive than that of Eduard Grach.

Feigin was born in 1937 and so is a little younger than Grach. He studied with Adolf Leschinsky, a pupil of Flesch, and then attended Oistrakhís postgraduate class at the Moscow Conservatoire, another link with Grach. He won the 1964 Prague Spring Competition. The recital enshrined in this disc represents about a decadeís worth of performances. All but one is accompanied by the fine player Victor Poltoratsky.

The Taneyev sonata is a Russian favourite and one that native players are keen to play. Feigin emphasises the kinship with late Brahms. His performance is attractively autumnal and not at all off hand or thrusting. The slow movement is illustrative not only of the composerís instinct for melodic beauty but for Feiginís rapt sustaining of a singing line. The Minuet is pleasing and the finale smilingly vivacious and songful and a movement that has the courage to end gently. Feiginís approach is very much to be contrasted with that of a more assertive and tensile Russian player Ė Igor Politkovsky, whose Taneyev recording made in 1982 can also be found in this series on RCD 16279.

Both Politkovsky and Feigin recorded Rubinstein as well Ė though Feigin the Op.19 sonata and Politkovsky the earlier Op.13. Feiginís playing here is straightforward, gauche-free, masculine, bold and powerful. He has the grandeur and nobility to meet the lyric episodes in the slow movement head on and he doesnít stint the Beethovenian rhetoric at the start of the finale either. This is highly effective playing all round.

Given his interest in Medtner one would expect the D minor Nocturne to be good and itís certainly well projected and perceptively done with a fine cantabile. The recital ends with a tricksy piece from that scion of the Russian pedagogic school, Leopold Auer. The Concert Tarantella is a Paganini-meets-Iberia tester, which Feigin dispatches with aplomb.

This is a pleasurable if perhaps modest salute to a distinguished player. Letís hope the rest of his discography can be profitably mined for the nuggets that are there and will reflect even more fully the range of his enthusiasms and talents.

Jonathan Woolf





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