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Marking the end of their unanimously-praised series, “star-kissed young performers,” [The Times] Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien, release the third and final volume in their live recordings of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas.
The duo’s recordings on Wigmore Hall Live have set new standards, with volumes one and two garnering superb 5* reviews and several ‘Editor’s choice’ accolades.
This last release features sonatas No.6 in A op.30 no.1 and No. 3 in E flat op.12, as well as the No.9 in A op.47, better known as the 'Kreutzer', Beethoven’s biggest and most challenging sonata. After its live performance at the Wigmore Hall in May 2010, The Times commented “The duo’s boldest showcase was the Kreutzer Sonata, with its firecracker outer movements and lovely soft centre” and “Ibragimova’s bow worked overtime. Loose threads kept dangling. Her pizzicato was wicked.” In accomplishing works that many artists do not attempt until late in their career, the duo have brought something new and original to this pinnacle of the chamber repertoire: “the partnership with Tiberghien sounds fresh and spontaneous [Financial Times]. Meanwhile BBC Music Magazine, in its 5* review, comments “[Ibragimova] has the kind of tone and expression that pins you to the back of your seat.” The duo, who met on the BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme over five years ago, describe their playing and recording of the complete sonata cycle as, as much a personal as a musical journey. Tiberghien comments “To travel through all ten sonatas, to play them live, is really something that changes you, as a musician and also as a human being”.
Violin Sonata In A Major Op. 30 No. 1 - Allegro
Violin Sonata In A Major Op. 30 No. 1 - Adagio Molto Espressivo
Violin Sonata In A Major Op. 30 No. 1 - Allegretto Con Variazioni
Violin Sonata In E Flat Major Op. 12 No. 3 - Allegro Con Spirito
Violin Sonata In E Flat Major Op. 12 No. 3 - Adagio Con Molta Espressione
Violin Sonata In E Flat Major Op. 12 No. 3 - Allegro Molto
Violin Sonata In A Major 'Kreutzer' Op. 47 - Adagio Sostenuto, Presto
Violin Sonata In A Major 'Kreutzer' Op. 47 - Andante Con Variazioni
Violin Sonata In A Major 'Kreutzer' Op. 47 - Presto
24th April 2011
“this young partnership mesmerises and captivates, achieving rare freshness and vitality in the most familiar repertoire...Ibragimova has no musical inhibitions, and brings period and contemporary performance knowledge to her nimble, lucid playing. Tiberghien is a fiery, daredevil but musically supportive pianist. They sprint through the first movement presto of the "Kreutzer", especially, with self-evident joy.”
“Ibragimova and Tiberghien show just how complex Beethoven's emotional language can be - impassioned and direct one moment, wickedly ironic the next - while keeping a tight grip on overall structure...As before, the players are alert, agile and acutely responsive to each other at every turn, and Ibragimova's tone retains that paradoxical balance between apparent fragility and intense inner strength...Excellent live recordings too.”
20th May 2011
“This new recording...catches both the grandeur and the grace...The two players are in total accord...Tiberghien undoubtedly has the harder job technically. There are some finger-twisting triplets in the variation movement of the A major Sonata, but he dances through them with ease...[Ibragimova] may look elfin, but in the Kreutzer her rough tone suggests unhinged passion.”
“Particularly impressive is Ibragimova's tone: never unduly sweet, and coloured with an astringency that remains absolutely right for Beethoven, while remaining free of an unpleasant edginess...The prize of this disc is a stunning 'Kreutzer' Sonata, here gaining a performance that conveys the work's inherent grandeur better than any other I have heard...there is no doubt that this cycle ranks with any and surpasses many”
“their playing has a powerful sense of progress through the series of modulations, born, I imagine, out of the intensity of live performance...their account of the Kreutzer's first movement, with its Furtwängler-like broadening at the climax of the coda, unmistakably exposes the music's portrayal of emotional turmoil”
“this live performance positively fizzes with shared inspiration”
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.