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Track(s) taken from CDA67820

Violin Sonata in G major

1892/3; written for Eugène Ysaÿe

Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
Recording details: November 2010
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2011
Total duration: 33 minutes 39 seconds

Cover artwork: 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


'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)
The Violin Sonata, written for the great Belgian virtuoso Eugène Ysaÿe, declares its programme of sentiment from the opening phrase—a bold downward octave followed by an upward scale. If there are echoes of Beethoven, Wagner and, of course, Franck, this is only to be expected of an impressionable twenty-two-year-old. Like Franck, Lekeu in the two outer movements proceeds by continual modulation, binding the music together with cyclic repetitions of material and especially of rhythms: phrases often have their longest note in the middle and end with a triplet. The finale also repeats sixteen bars almost note for note from the first movement during the build-up to the final section.

But perhaps Lekeu’s greatest achievement is to be found in the opening theme of the central slow movement. Not only does he manage the 7/8 (4+3) time signature with consummate flexibility, he keeps our interest through all forty bars and three minutes of the melody with only two brief excursions away from the tonic E flat major. The central section is introduced by a tune on the piano played ‘very simply and with the feeling of a popular song’. In this, Lekeu was following not so much Franck himself, as members of the bande such as d’Indy, for whom folksong was the epitome of nobility and purity.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2011

Écrite pour le grand virtuose belge Eugène Ysaÿe, la Sonate pour violon annonce son programme tout en sentiment dès la phrase d’ouverture—une audacieuse octave descendante suivie d’une gamme ascendante. On décèle là des échos de Beethoven, de Wagner et, bien sûr, de Franck, ce qui n’a rien de surprenant chez un jeune homme de vingt-deux ans, impressionnable. À l’instar de Franck, Lekeu procède par modulation continue, dans les deux mouvements extrêmes, liant la musique par des répétitions cycliques de matériau et surtout de rythmes: les phrases ont souvent leur note la plus longue au milieu et s’achèvent sur un triolet. De même, pendant l’élaboration de la section conclusive, le finale répète presque note pour note seize mesures du premier mouvement.

Mais là où Lekeu se montre magistral, c’est peut-être dans le thème liminaire du mouvement lent central, quand il parvient à gérer le signe de la mesure à 7/8 (4+3) avec une souplesse consommée, sans que jamais notre intérêt ne faiblisse au long des quarante mesures et des trois minutes de la mélodie—il ne délaisse le mi bémol majeur de tonique que par deux fois et brièvement. La section centrale est introduite par un air pianistique joué «très simplement et avec le sentiment d’un chant populaire». Ce en quoi Lekeu ne suivait pas tant Franck que certains membres de la bande comme d’Indy, pour qui le chant traditionnel incarnait noblesse et pureté.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2011
Français: Hypérion

In der Violinsonate, die für den großen belgischen Virtuosen Eugène Ysaÿe entstand, wird das sentimentale Programm bereits in der Anfangsphrase dargestellt—eine kühne abwärtsgerichtete Oktave, auf die eine nach oben gerichtete Tonleiter folgt. Wenn hier Anklänge an Beethoven, Wagner und—natürlich—Franck festzustellen sind, so ist dies von einem leicht zu beeindruckenden 22-jährigen durchaus zu erwarten. Ebenso wie Franck schreitet Lekeu in den beiden Außensätzen durch stetige Modulationen voran und hält die Musik durch zyklische Wiederholungen von melodischem Material und besonders auch Rhythmen zusammen: in vielen Phrasen steht der längste Ton in der Mitte und eine Triole am Ende. Im Finale werden zudem 16 Takte praktisch Ton für Ton aus dem ersten Satz in der Vorbereitung auf den Schlussteil wiederholt.

Lekeus möglicherweise größte Leistung findet sich jedoch im Anfangsthema des langsamen Mittelsatzes. Hier gelingt es ihm nicht nur, die 7/8-Vorzeichnung (4+3) mit besonderer Flexibilität zu behandeln, er erhält auch das Interesse der Hörer über 40 Takte und drei Minuten hinweg aufrecht, in denen die Melodie sich nur zweimal kurz von der Tonika Es-Dur entfernt. Der Mittelteil wird durch eine Klaviermelodie eingeleitet, die „sehr schlicht und mit dem Gefühl eines Volkslieds“ zu spielen ist. Darin folgte Lekeu nicht so sehr Franck selbst, sondern anderen Mitgliedern der bande, wie etwa d’Indy, für den das Volkslied der Inbegriff von Nobilität und Reinheit war.

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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