Making her recording debut for Hyperion in this disc of important repertoire is the spectacular young Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova (b1985). Alina’s many concert appearances throughout Europe have earned her the highest praise, and, as Richard Morrison wrote in The Times, she is ‘destined to be a force in the classical music firmament for decades to come … you feel that you are getting the music straight from the composer’s quill’.
“She is Russian, 23, and a scorchingly good violinist. This is her CD recital debut; always a testing occasion, but especially for young violinists. What repertoire should be chosen? … Ibragimova has chosen the third route, towards serious and neglected repertory … Hartmann had his youthful
iconoclasms, but the agony of the Second World War brought out the tragic artist in him … [Concerto funebre] To the adagio section she brings passion without mawkishness; and the control wielded at high altitudes is phenomenal … Ibragimova is marvellously sturdy and exact, especially
when making perilous leaps from exposed places. And she plays with such commitment and feeling … as for her next disc, the doors are wide open. But whatever Ibragimova plays, it’ll be worth hearing” The Times
“Crisply and incisively argued … musicianship of the highest order” International Record Review
“Hard on the heels of Orfeo's marvellous mid-price issue of Schneiderhan's gripping performance of the Concerto funebre, Ibragimova's fiercely clear-eyed account - alive to the music's expressive demands as well as its dynamic markings (some of which Schneiderhan and Gertler are less scrupulous with) - faces stiff competition but need not fear comparison with any of the dozen or so rival accounts. Her technique is formidable to say the least...” Gramophone Magazine, October 2007
“…the Concerto funebre for violin and strings has established itself as Karl Amadeus Hartmann's most familiar work…the way in which the Britten Sinfonia support and enfold their young soloist's beautifully nuanced and textured playing is a model of close-knit ensemble playing, and the natural, detailed sound picture captures all of that give and take.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2007 ****
“It is such an obvious idea to combine Hartmann's Concerto funebre (1939, rev 1959) with the four unaccompanied works from 1927 that it's surprising that no company has thought of it before now. The Suites and Sonatas are not well known, not even being performed until the mid-1980s. Hartmann composed them while still a student with his mature style some years away, yet their muscularity, contrapuntal and harmonic élan and the sense of self-belief they exude show them to be products of a for- midable, free-thinking creator. Ibragimova proves an ideal exponent, her tempi free and elastic (and mostly quite quick). Her fluency and flexibility pay great dividends time and again, as in the First Suite's central Rondo or concluding Ciaconna or the Second Suite's second span, Fliessend. Hyperion's sound-picture is natural.
Ibragimova's fiercely clear-eyed account of the Concerto funebre– alive to the music's expressive demands as well as its dynamic markings – faces stiff competition but need not fear comparison with any of the dozen or so rival accounts. Her technique is formidable to say the least and if marginal preferance is for Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi), Ibragimova is on her shoulder, although Hyperion's couplings and recording quality, to say nothing of the excellent Britten Sinfonia, deserve a share in the plaudits. Recommended.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010