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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: 21 minutes 8 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 A minor 'Sonatina', D385
composer
March/April 1816; published by Diabelli in 1836

Allegro moderato  [7'59]
Andante  [6'36]
Allegro  [4'22]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Sonata in A minor, Schubert’s favourite key for expressions of pathos, has a more individual flavour than that of the D major. At the opening of the first movement the violin transmutes the piano’s yearning cantabile into strenuous rhetoric, with vaulting leaps between registers. In the lyrical C major theme that follows Schubert seems to remember, both in the cut of the melody and the subdominant-leaning harmony, the fast section of the Countess’s famous aria ‘Dove sono’ from Le nozze di Figaro. The music then settles in F major for a third theme, beginning as a chirpy dialogue between violin and piano left hand around pulsing triplets in the right. Schubert thus creates an exposition with three, rather than the traditional two, separate key centres (A minor, C major and F major), a trait found in so many of his sonata-form movements, right through to the B flat Piano Sonata and the String Quintet.

The beguiling F major Andante initially evokes the minuet finale of Mozart’s F major Violin Sonata, K377 (which Schubert also remembered a few months later in the Fifth Symphony’s Andante), though the harmonic adventures of its two episodes are pure Schubert. The third movement, in D minor—another unorthodox key choice—is a cussed, laconic Menuetto, more Haydnesque than Mozartian, with a Ländler-style trio underpinned by piquant chromatic harmonies. Opening with a violin song of melancholy grace, the rondo finale has a similar plan to that of the D major Sonata. But its scale is broader, its reach bolder. At the climaxes of the two episodes the instruments hurl rising scales at each other with almost Beethovenian vehemence.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013

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