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Hyperion Records

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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
Track(s) taken from CDA67820
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

'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)

Violin Sonata No 1 in A major
1897; published poshumously; dedicated, in June 1929, to Paul Oberdoerffer

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
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

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