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Karol SZYMANOWSKI (1882-1937)
The Complete Music for Violin and Piano
Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 (1915) [11:40]
Mythes (La fontaine d’Aréthuse; Narcisse; Dryades et Pan) Op. 30 (1915) [21:02]
Romance in D major, Op. 23 (1910) [6:10]
Violin Sonata in D minor, Op. 9 (1904) [20:03]
Three Paganini Caprices, Op. 40 (1918) [14:24]
Lullaby La Berceuse d’Aïtacho Enia’, Op. 52 [3:56]
Alina Ibragimova (violin); Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
rec. Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, 21-23 July 2008
HYPERION CDA67703 [76:15]
Experience Classicsonline

Hyperion have made Alina Ibragimova something of a house artist and she is certainly deserving of such close attention. She has already been permitted the Mount Olympus of the repertoire in the Bach Sonatas & Partitas for solo violin on CDA67691/2. Then again there is the Hartmann Concerto funèbre on CDA67547 and the superb Roslavets Violin Concertos with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Ilan Volkov on CDA67637.

Given Ibragimova’s resounding success with the Roslavets Violin Concerto No. 1 a big and spiritedly rhapsodic piece with overtones of Prokofiev and of Szymanowski's mystical surrealism it is no surprise that Hyperion should have asked her to approach this repertoire. If I still marginally prefer Kaja Danczowska’s 1970s DG version of the Mythes (with Krystian Zimmerman - DG Originals 4775903) Ibragimova does balance equipoise and possessed wildness. Her version of the hyper-romantic Violin Sonata plays to her strengths alongside those of Krzysztof Bakowski on CD-Accord. The Sonata’s credentials match its profile: premiered in Warsaw during 1909 by Artur Rubinstein and Pawel Kochanski (1887-1934). While the Mythes are a no-compromise idealistic statement of Grecian-Pagan exotic - developed further in Krol Roger - the Nocturne and Tarantella is more accessible something in the manner of the short concert pieces by Saint-Saens yet blended with mysticism. The 1910 Romance looks forwards to the Mythes while the Caprices are drenched in rhapsodic-virtuosic spirit. Francis Pott, in his notes, relates the Lullaby to the post-war chill of Frank Bridge’s last two quartets and Piano Trio No. 2.

The coupling here is identical with that of an MDG collection by Joanna Mądroszkiewicz (violin) and Paul Gulda (piano) as reviewed by Jonathan Woolf. I have not heard that disc but note that its total playing time is three minutes longer than this Hyperion and that Jonathan preferred the warmer acoustic and wider array of tone colours accorded to Ibragimova and Tiberghien.

The notes are by the distinguished composer Francis Pott. Being distinguished, as he will know, does not stop his music being neglected. I hope that this will be put right - at least on record.

The present collection is a natural and inspired choice if you want an easily accessible collection of this repertoire.

Rob Barnett 



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