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Track(s) taken from CDA67820

Violin Sonata No 1 in A major

composer
1897; published poshumously; dedicated, in June 1929, to Paul Oberdoerffer

Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
Recording details: November 2010
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2011
Total duration: 14 minutes 4 seconds

Cover artwork: Appletree and Red Fruit (c1902) by Paul Ranson (1863-1909)
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas / Gift of Audrey Jones Beck / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
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Reviews

'The instinctive artistic collaboration between Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien … is again brought to the fore in this perceptive and magically played programme of French chamber music … they have great fun with the wild gipsy flair of Tzigane, but you can tell that this spontaneity is born of deep understanding of the music’s character and of unshakeable rapport. In the entire programme the playing is of finesse and winning, communicative allure' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Just under their ease of delivery lie fire and muscle; and their dynamics and touch modulate even more than the music's keys. Ibragimova is especially adorable in the slow movement, tumbling gracefully, high in the air, through a melody that never seems to end … the best is yet to come. In the G major sonata's first movement Tiberghien stabs while Ibragimova soars, the contrast between them deliberately underlined, the better to generate extra power whenever they intertwine. The central blues movement is magnificently judged building up from coquettish whispers toward the darkly brazen … a triumph' (The Times)

'Ibragimova’s tone is taut, sweet and astringent, but with plenty of power in her bowing arm … while Tiberghien’s limpid touch and easy bravura are perfect for this music. The lovely central movement, très lent, is Lekeu’s masterpiece, done with exquisite intensity here … Ibragimova and Tiberghien do it proud' (The Sunday Times)

'This must count as one of the most satisfying surveys of Ravel's complete violin music in the catalogue' (The Strad)

'Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien possess the rare gift of being able to recreate on disc the same captivating spontaneity and musical intensity that distinguishes their concerts. Rarely have the sleek lines and textures of Ravel's two sonatas sounded so alluring, nor the manic drive of the Tzigane so deliriously intoxicating. Their sublimely articulate and sensitive account of the Lekeu Sonata surpasses even Menuhin's 1938 trailblazer' (Classic FM Magazine)
In June 1895, the twenty-year-old Maurice Ravel’s Conservatoire professor Émile Pessard described his harmony exercises as ‘exact’—Pessard lived on until 1917, perhaps long enough to blush at this judgment. At all events, in the exam in the summer of 1895 these exercises weren’t exact enough for the jury and Ravel had to leave the institution, before returning as a member of Fauré’s composition class in January 1898. In the meantime, he began a Violin Sonata in A major, but got no further than the first movement. This information comes from a note he sent to the violinist Paul Oberdoerffer in June 1929, consisting of the opening violin phrase and a dedication to him ‘in memory of the 1st performance of the uncompleted first sonata (18…)’. Oberdoerffer went on to teach violin at the Conservatoire and wrote light music for his instrument with titles such as Chinoiserie and La petite fleur de mon jardin. Ravel’s single movement, in sonata form, juxtaposes modal writing, as at the opening, with more chromatic harmonies, including two passages of downward sliding chords that sound like Delius. The joins may not always be totally convincing, but there is no mistaking Ravel’s way with a lyrical idea.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

En juin 1895, Émile Pessard, professeur au Conservatoire, qualifia de «exacts» les exercices d’harmonie de son élève Maurice Ravel (alors âgé de vingt ans)—Pessard vécut jusqu’en 1917, assez longtemps, peut-être, pour rougir de cette appréciation. Quoi qu’il en soit, lors de l’examen de cet été-là, le jury ne jugea pas ces exercices suffisamment exacts et Ravel dut quitter l’établissement—où il revint cependant en janvier 1898, comme élève dans la classe de composition de Fauré. Entre-temps, il entreprit une Sonate pour violon en la majeur, mais sans dépasser le premier mouvement. Nous tenons cette information d’une note qu’il envoya en juin 1929 au violoniste Paul Oberdoerffer, où la phrase inaugurale de cette sonate était assortie de la dédicace suivante: «en souvenir de la première interprétation de la première sonate inachevée (18…)». Par la suite, Oberdoerffer enseigna le violon au Conservatoire et composa de la musique violonistique légère avec des titres comme Chinoiserie et La petite fleur de mon jardin. Le mouvement unique de Ravel, de forme sonate, juxtapose écriture modale (ainsi au début) et harmonies davantage chromatiques, dont deux passages d’accords tirés vers le bas et sonnant façon Delius. Les raccords ne sont pas toujours des plus convaincants, mais impossible de confondre la manière de Ravel avec un idée lyrique.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Im Juni 1895 beschrieb Émile Pessard, Professor am Pariser Conservatoire, die Harmonie-Übungen des 20-jährigen Maurice Ravel als „exakt“—Pessard lebte bis 1917, vielleicht lang genug, um zu realisieren, wie unpassend dieses Urteil gewesen war. Bei den Examensprüfungen im Sommer 1895 waren jene Übungen indes der Jury nicht exakt genug, so dass Ravel die Einrichtung verlassen musste, bevor er im Januar 1898 als Mitglied der Kompositionsklasse Faurés zurückkehrte. In der Zwischenzeit hatte er mit der Arbeit an der Violinsonate in A-Dur begonnen, war aber nicht über den ersten Satz hinaus gekommen. Diese Informationen lassen sich einer Notiz entnehmen, die er im Juni 1929 an den Geiger Paul Oberdoerffer schickte, in der die Anfangsphrase der Violine und eine an ihn gerichtete Widmung „im Andenken an die 1. Aufführung der unvollständigen ersten Sonate (18…)“ enthalten war. Oberdoerffer lehrte später Violine am Conservatoire und schrieb leichte Musik für sein Instrument mit Titeln wie etwa Chinoiserie oder La petite fleur de mon jardin. Ravels einzelner Satz in Sonatenform stellt eine modale Kompositionsweise, wie etwa am Anfang, chromatischeren Harmonien gegenüber, worunter sich zwei Passagen mit abwärts gleitenden Akkorden befinden, die wie Delius klingen. Die Verknüpfungsstellen mögen nicht immer ganz überzeugend wirken, doch ist Ravels Verarbeitung einer lyrischen Idee unverkennbar.

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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