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Hyperion Records

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Dovedale by Moonlight (c1784/5) by Joseph Wright (1734-1797)
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio / RT Miller Jr Fund / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67911/2
Recording details: August 2012
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: August 2013
Total duration: 14 minutes 25 seconds

'Beautiful and touching … the performances of the virtuoso Rondo brillant and Fantasie are exhilarating; the Rondo combining lively momentum with a sense of poise and the Fantasie beautifully characterised in all its varied aspects. Especially fine are the episodes in Hungarian style, full of energy and grace, and the barnstorming finale, rivalling the famous 1931 recording of Busch and Serkin' (Gramophone)

'Performances which it is hard to imagine ever being bettered' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Most bewitching of all, and performed with a lightness and poise by this established duo, is the Fantasy in C major, breaking convention at every turn, written in 1827' (The Observer)

'Ibragimova and Tiberghien encompass the music with exhilarating flair … and with a keen stylistic ear' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The three Schubert Sonatinas are each rendered beautifully to scale by both partners … the felicities are of course manifold … Ibragimova and Tiberghien rise admirably to Schubert's late musical and technical challenges. In the aforesaid finale, they really let their hair down and the result is truly exhilarating. The Fantasy is as much a challenge to the pianist as to the violinist: Tiberghien emphatically holds his own!' (International Record Review)

'When Schubert’s melodies send Ibragimova soaring into the skies or when she tosses off filigree decorations she stays at her electrifying best. Try her wonderful high-wire pianissimos during the leisurely C major Fantasy of 1827, the most Schubertian of all the pieces, sweetly dominated by variations on his soulful song setting of the Rückert poem Sei mir gegrüsst!. As for vigour, nothing sets the pulse racing as much as his B minor Rondo, the most assertively rhetorical work here, given a performance powerful enough to stand in for the National Grid. Much to enjoy here' (The Times)

'Ibragimova and Tiberghien play with flair and taste' (The Sunday Times)

'Given the fine track record of violin-piano duo Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien, it’s not surprising to find them completely at home—lyrically poised and intimately dynamic—in Schubert’s four sonatas. But this disc is about the composer’s complete works for violin and piano, and how refreshing it is to have the fiery, often whimsical Rondo in B minor reeled off with such élan; to hear the multi-coloured expansiveness of the four-movement Fantasy in C minor, with all its playful pianism to boot; and Schubert’s delightful miniature transcription of his own song Sei mir gegrüsst!, itself the subject of variations in the Fantasy' (The Scotsman)

Violin Sonata in D major 'Sonatina', D384
composer
March/April 1816; published by Diabelli in 1836

Allegro molto  [6'40]
Andante  [3'53]
Allegro vivace  [3'52]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Mozart’s spirit suffuses the three violin sonatas Schubert composed in March and April of 1816, designated, in the eighteenth-century fashion, ‘Sonatas for piano, with violin accompaniment’. When the sonatas were published by the firm of Diabelli (of Beethoven variations fame) in 1836, eight years after Schubert’s death, they were advertised as ‘sonatinas’, doubtless to lure the lucrative amateur market. While the diminutive is reasonable enough in the case of the three-movement, technically undemanding D major, D384, it unfairly miniaturizes the A minor and G minor sonatas, each in four movements and lasting as long as some of Beethoven’s violin sonatas.

Consciously or not, Schubert seems to have modelled the main theme of the Sonata in D major’s opening Allegro molto, heard first in unison then in free imitation between violin and piano left hand, on Mozart’s great E minor Sonata, K304. But Schubert’s compact movement is far more amiable, even naive, not least in the jaunty second subject. The gracefully Mozartian outer sections of the A major Andante enclose a plaintive A minor song for violin, while the 6/8 finale alternates a blithe, bounding refrain with episodes featuring bouts of mock-severe imitative counterpoint.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013

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