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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 13 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 major 'Duo', D574
composer
August 1817; published by Diabelli in 1851

Allegro moderato  [8'11]
Scherzo: Presto  [4'09]
Andantino  [3'44]
Allegro vivace  [5'09]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
In 1817 Vienna became infected by Rossini fever. Schubert himself was not immune, as can be heard in the Sixth Symphony, begun that autumn, and the two exuberant Overtures in the Italian Style. But there is no trace of Rossini, and little of Mozart, in the Sonata in A major composed during August and published by Diabelli in 1851 as Duo (en la) pour piano et violon. While the Sonata’s mood is predominantly relaxed and genial, the violin writing is more challenging than in the three sonatas of 1816. Schubert’s opening is gloriously memorable: a free-soaring violin melody counterpointed by a lolloping rhythm in the keyboard bass. Despite moments of energetic dialogue for the two instruments, the movement is in essence a leisurely song without words for the violin that slips into all sorts of unexpected keys en route.

The Presto second movement is an exuberant take on the Beethovenian scherzo, full of teasingly irregular phrases, abrupt changes of dynamics and vertiginous leaps for the violin. In the second half Schubert spirits us to remote tonal regions with nonchalant sleight-of-hand. The C major Andantino begins with one of Schubert’s most guileless tunes. But initial impressions are belied by the music’s harmonic adventure, both in the opening section, which quickly drifts to a far-flung D flat major, and in the central episode. After a condensed reprise of the opening (with the tune underpinned by a little rhythmic figure from the central section), the major-minor equivocation of the very last bars is a touching and characteristic Schubertian effect. Opening with a faint reminiscence of the scherzo, the finale is a movement of irresistible verve that combines the melodic generosity of the first movement with the scherzo’s ebullience and tonal caprice.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2013

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