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The young Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov, whose playing “requires every superlative in the dictionary” (Classic FM Magazine), releases his first recording as an exclusive Virgin Classics artist, a pairing of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Bartók’s Violin Concerto No 2.
This pairing of concertos by Tchaikovsky and Bartók is the Ukrainian violinist Valeriy Sokolov’s first CD release as an exclusive Virgin Classics artist. The 24-year-old Ukrainian already features in the catalogue as the subject of a documentary released on DVD in 2006, Bruno Monsaingeon’s Natural born fiddler, while his interpretation of George Enescu’s Violin Sonata No 3 can be heard on a CD of the Romanian composer’s chamber music which became available in 2009. Recorded in Autumn 2010 with the Tonhalle Orchester conducted by David Zinman, this new concerto programme combines great works from the 19th and 20th centuries, both containing elements of folk music.
"Sokolov's violin playing requires every superlative in the dictionary," said the UK’s Classic FM Magazine, in 2010, while The Strad described one of his performances as "full of effective contrasts, steel alternating with velvet … his sound sumptuous when he gave it free rein and thrilling when high on the G string. It was dramatic and exhilarating, and bound together by a firm sense of direction."
The French director Bruno Monsaingeon first encountered Sokolov when the violinist was 16 and studying at the Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK on a scholarship he had won in the Pablo Sarasate Competition. “Not the slightest tension marred the impression he gave of total ease with his instrument,” says Monsaingeon, “ … Absolute control of technique, a musical maturity .. and above all an utter abandonment to the flow of the music”. Sokolov, who in 2005 won the Grand Prix of the George Enescu International Competition, went on to study at at London’s Royal College of Music.
Concerto For Violin In D Major Op.35: I. Allegro Moderato
Concerto For Violin In D Major Op.35: II. Canzonetta (Andante)
Concerto For Violin In D Major Op.35: III. Finale (Allegro Vivacissimo)
Concerto For Violin No.2: Allegro Non Troppo
Concerto For Violin No.2: Andante Tranquillo
Concerto For Violin No.2: Allegro Molto
27th October 2011
“Tchaikovsky comes across with freshness and depth of feeling, fostered by Sokolov’s lustrous tone. There is brilliance without ostentation, qualities that apply equally to the Bartók, with the Tonhalle Orchestra providing a luminous backcloth.”
The Arts Desk
3rd December 2011
“Valeriy Sokolov’s performance is technically fearless, gritty in places but soft-centred where it needs to be. Bartók needs advocacy like this, and anyone who’s new to the work should dive in...David Zinman’s Swiss orchestra offers tight, responsive backing.”
“With commanding entries and beautiful phrasing, the sheer eloquence of his playing is a joy with the orchestra responding beautifully. His performance of Bartok's Second Concerto is a revelation. After the opening Hungarian rhythms played with easy flair, the second movement's hushed intensity takes your breath away, until the thrill and dynamism of the thrid movement keeps you on the edge of your seat.”
“Sokolov has the measure of both of these concertos and sounds entirely comfortable coping with their different technical demands...Zinman and his orchestra provide exceptionally finely balanced, well-paced support. In the Bartok, Sokolov is particularly convincing in the passionate music of the outer movements, attacking it with verve, rhythmic precision and fine, vibrant tone.”
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