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Guillaume Lekeu and Ravel: Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano), LSO St Luke's, London, 17.2.2011 (BBr)


Guillaume Lekeu: Violin Sonata in G (1892/1893)

Ravel: Violin Sonata in G major (1923/1927)

Alina Ibragimova is a very exciting young violinist who is carving out a significant career for herself. I have heard her on several occasions and have always been impressed by her virtuosity; however, I have been less impressed by her musicality. This concert was a good example of her performing technique. Lekeu's marvellous Sonata, written for Ysaÿe, is a large-scale work, romantic and generously melodious; it is not an aggressive work, nor is there anything overtly violent about it. Ibragimova, however, seems always to see music as a matter of confrontation and that is not what the Lekeu Sonata is all about. This performance was well executed technically, but the soul of the work was never touched upon. The finale, instead of being an exciting rush of great forward momentum, was here a garbled and too hasty scuttle.

Ravel's Sonata fared slightly better. The first movement was suitably nonchalant and the disturbing undercurrents were nicely underplayed. The blues of the middle movement started well but at the climax the furious pizzicato of the soloist was out of control and instead of a dirty nightclub atmosphere there was far too much meaningless aggression. The moto perpetuo finale came off best of all three movements because it requires technique above musicality.

Ibramigova and Tiberghien make a good duo partnership and they could develop into a fine ensemble once Ibramigova has worked on her interpretations and turned away from the purely technical.

Bob Briggs


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