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Track(s) taken from CDA67547

Sonata No 1


Alina Ibragimova (violin)
Recording details: January 2007
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2007
Total duration: 14 minutes 53 seconds


'Their [Sonatas and Suites] muscularity, contrapuntal and harmonic élan and the sense of self-belief they exude show them to be products of a formidable, free-thinking creator. Ibragimoba proves an ideal exponent, her tempi freer and more elastic (and mostly quicker) than Turban's … Ibragimova's greater fluency and flexibility pay greater dividends time and again … [Concerto funebre] Ibragimova's fiercely clear-eyed account—alive to the music's expressive demands as well as its dynamic markings—faces stiff competition but need not fear comparison with any of the dozen or so rival accounts. Her technique is formidable to say the least … Hyperion's couplings and recording quality, to say nothing of the excellent Britten Sinfonia, deserve a share in the plaudits. Recommended' (Gramophone)

'An auspicious and admirably adventurous recording debut for one of the most exciting of today's young violinists, Alina Ibragimova. With the Britten Sinfonia strings providing incisive support, she steers a committed yet level-headed course through this emotive work, bringing plenty of tonal variety and expressive subtlety to play on Hartmann's deeply felt music. These characteristics also colour her brilliant playing of the solo works, with their echoes of everything from Bach to Bartók' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Wonderfully assured … the way in which the playing of the Britten Sinfonia dovetails with hers is always compelling. Ibragimova pairs the concerto with the solo violin suites and sonatas … in these wonderfully fluent pieces, it is perfectly married with the contrapuntal ideas that Hartmann clearly derived from Bach's solo violin works; Ibragimova conveys their crispness and clarity to perfection' (The Guardian)

'Crisply and incisively argued … musicianship of the highest order' (International Record Review)

'She is Russian, 23, and a scorchingly good violinist. This is her CD recital debut; always a testing occasion, but especially for young violinists. What repertoire should be chosen? … Ibragimova has chosen the third route, towards serious and neglected repertory … Hartmann had his youthful iconoclasms, but the agony of the Second World War brought out the tragic artist in him … to the adagio section [Concerto funebre] she brings passion without mawkishness; and the control wielded at high altitudes is phenomenal. The Britten Sinfonia, led by Jacqueline Shave, make fluent sounds too, amplified by Hyperion's lively recording—close to the mike, but never in your face … Ibragimova is marvellously sturdy and exact, especially when making perilous leaps from exposed places. And she plays with such commitment and feeling … as for her next disc, the doors are wide open. But whatever Ibragimova plays, it'll be worth hearing' (The Times)

'An auspicious recording debut by the 22-year-old violinist Alina Ibragimova. Hartmann's four unaccompanied violin works … are not for the faint-hearted executant. They are, however, compelling, brilliant pieces, speaking of the sharp intellect and wide-ranging imagination of a composer who was at least the equal of Hindemith … Ibragimova brings to each piece a formidable technical and musical command, her sound always vividly coloured, her response the right mix of spontaneous passion and practised control' (The Sunday Times)

'As her performance of Hartmann's Concerto proves, Ibragimova is capable of delivering the bold, knotty statements upon which these works' success depends, with the appropriate Affekt. For example, in the First Suite, she transforms herself from a cheerful contrapuntist, in the movement entitled 'Fuga: Munter', to a relaxed chanteuse in the penultimate 'Dreiteilege Liedform', to an edgy knife thrower with Bartók-like fragments in the final Ciaconna. And the demands on her flexibility seem almost endless. The precocious Alina Ibragimova offers a program of engaging and thoughtful works that she's approached with an equally engaging, interpretive and masterfully commanding musical personality that brooks no opposition. Strongly recommended to violinists, to violin aficionados, and to general listeners of all predilections' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hartmann's invention is consistently inventive—and of real substance—and benefits from Alina Ibragimova's interpretative focus and technical security: she has clearly taken huge trouble to get inside this music and give performances of insight, dedication and bravura. Each movement emerges as an emotional testimony of Hartmann's wide-ranging stylistic craft … Ibragimova and the conductor-less Britten Sinfonia make a very strong case for Concerto funebre (1939, revised in 1959)—certainly the most convincing account this listener has heard … what impresses with this Hyperion account is how eloquent Hartmann's music is, how deeply felt it is, and how electrifying the frenetic third movement is—and wonderfully clarified in this performance … and how the composer’s emotionalism and rhythmic ingenuity is absorbed into a convincing whole. This is music with direct connection to the listener. If you don’t know the Concerto (or, indeed, any of the music here—it has taken many decades for the solo-violin works to get even a foothold on the repertoire) then Ibragimova and the Britten Sinfonia's wild-eyed enthusiasm and musical consideration—superbly recorded—could well be the best way to enter Hartmann's specific but universal world. A revelation!' (Classical Source)
The five-movement Sonata No 1 carries for superscription an unidentified quotation: ‘An die schönen Stunden denke immer’ (Always think of the good times). It begins with a wiry, energetic Toccata (a species of movement Hartmann was to favour throughout his career), whose strongly rhythmicized motivic working breaks out occasionally into cadenza-like prestissimo flurries of notes. In complete contrast, the ‘calm crotchets’ of the second movement carry an austerely lyrical melodic line, with a slightly more agitated middle section making use of triple- and quadruple-stopping. The third movement carries the curious direction Verrückt schnell, unschön spielen (insanely fast, ugly playing) and is a furious scherzo in 7/4 time characterized by dissonant double-stopping, manic repeated notes and capriciously changing rhythmic groupings. If Hartmann had a model for this extraordinary movement it was probably the Rasendes Zeitmass (Raging tempo) in Hindemith’s unaccompanied Viola Sonata, Op 25 No 1, of 1922. It comes to a shrieking climax and then a slow coda leads into the principal slow movement, marked Mit viel Ausdruck (with full expression). Here the violin spins a wonderfully flexible cantilena, the time signature changing in almost every bar, and with whole-tone inflections that suggest the influence of Debussy. Spanning the instrument’s full gamut, it mounts to its highest register and gradually descends to a peaceful close. The finale is a fugue, also subtitled ‘Toccata’, oddly characterized as Heiter, burschikos (cheerful and tomboyish) and directed to be played always staccato. This is the most neoclassical movement in conception, though Hartmann handles this most taxing of forms for a solo string instrument with a strenuous panache of his own.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2007

La Sonate no 1 en cinq mouvements porte en en-tête une citation non identifiée: «An die schönen Stunden denke immer» («Songe toujours aux bons moments»). Elle s’ouvre sur une Toccata vigoureuse, énergique (de ces mouvements qu’Hartmann privilégiera tout au long de sa carrière), dont la mécanique motivique, à forte rythmicité, se meut parfois en rafales de notes prestissimo, de type cadenza. En total contraste, les «calmes noires» du deuxième mouvement véhiculent une ligne mélodique austèrement lyrique, avec une section médiane un peu plus agitée usant de triple et de quadruple corde. Le troisième mouvement, curieusement marqué Verrückt schnell, unschön spielen (jouer follement vite, vilainement), est un furieux scherzo à 7/4 caractérisé par des doubles cordes dissonantes, de folles notes répétées et des regroupements rythmiques aux changements fantasques. S’il existe un modèle à cet extraordinaire mouvement, probablement faut-il le chercher dans le Rasendes Zeitmass (tempo frénétique) de la Sonate pour alto seul, op. 25 no 1 d’Hindemith (1922). Passé un apogée vociférant, une lente coda débouche sur le mouvement lent principal, marqué mit viel Ausdruck (avec beaucoup d’expression). Ici, le violon file une cantilène merveilleusement souple, dont le signe de la mesure change presque à chaque mesure et dont les inflexions par tons suggèrent une influence debussyste. Passant par toute la gamme de l’instrument, elle s’élève jusqu’au registre le plus aigu pour lentement se retirer vers une conclusion paisible. Le finale est une fugue, de nouveau sous-titrée «Toccata», bizarrement marquée Heiter, burschikos (enjoué et gaillard) et à jouer toujours staccato. Il s’agit là du mouvement à la conception la plus néoclassique, mais Hartmann traite cette forme, difficile s’il en est pour un instrument à cordes solo, avec un vigoureux et singulier panache.

extrait des notes rédigées par Calum MacDonald © 2007
Français: Hypérion

Die fünfsätzige Sonate Nr. 1 trägt als Überschrift ein unidentifiziertes Zitat: „An die schönen Stunden denke immer“. Sie beginnt mit einer drahtig-energischen Toccata (eine Lieblings-Satzart Hartmanns, die er im Lauf seiner Karriere oft verwendete), deren rhythmisch betonte Motivarbeit gelegentlich in kadenzhafte prestissimo-Notengestöber ausbricht. In totalem Gegensatz dazu bringen die „ruhigen Achtel“ des zweiten Satzes eine herb-lyrische Melodieline mit einem etwas erregteren Mittelteil mit Tripel- und Quadrupelgriffen. Der dritte Satz trägt die seltsame Anweisung Verrückt schnell, unschön spielen und ist ein furioses Scherzo im 7/4-Takt, das durch dissonante Doppelgriffe, manisch repetierte Noten und kapriziös wechselnde rhythmische Gruppierungen gekennzeichnet ist. Wenn Hartmann ein Vorbild für diesen außerordentlichen Satz hatte, dürfte es wohl Rasendes Tempo in Hindemiths Bratschensonate, op. 25, Nr. 1 von 1922 gewesen sein. Er steigert sich zu einem schrillen Höhepunkt, und eine langsame Coda leitet dann in den eigentlichen langsamen Satz, mit viel Ausdruck, über. Die Violine webt hier eine wunderbar geschmeidige Kantilene, deren Zeitmass sich fast in jedem Takt ändert, und deren Ganztonwendungen den Einfluss Debussys andeuten. Sie umgreift den gesamten Ambitus des Instruments und schwingt sich bis in das höchste Register, bevor sie allmählich wieder zum friedlichen Abschluss absteigt. Das Finale ist eine Fuge, die wiederum den Untertitel „Toccata“ trägt, seltsam als Heiter, burschikos charakterisiert wird und immer staccato gespielt werden soll. Vom Konzept her ist dies der neoklassischste Satz, aber Hartmann handhabt diese für ein Solostreichinstrument besonders anspruchsvolle Form mit seinem eigenen unermüdlichem Elan.

aus dem Begleittext von Calum MacDonald © 2007
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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