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Track(s) taken from CDA67514

Violin Sonata No 2 in D major, Op 94bis

1944; a transcription made with the assistance of David Oistrakh of the 1943 Op 94 Flute Sonata

Alina Ibragimova (violin), Steven Osborne (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: July 2013
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: July 2014
Total duration: 22 minutes 3 seconds

Cover artwork: The Violin (1916) by Juan Gris (1887-1927)
Kunstmuseum, Basel / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'From the austere opening bars of the First Violin Sonata, one of Prokofiev’s towering masterpieces, it’s clear that this violin-and-piano duo is capable of the subtlest interplay. Steven Osborne is the lion, or the demon, that needs taming by Alina Ibragimova’s fiddler, dancing—sometimes ever so frailly—on the volcano. There are revelations in the outer movements: never have I heard the violin’s tentative B minor melodising as so much the heart of the preludial Andante assai—it's equal in effect to what Prokofiev described as the 'wind in the graveyard’ rushings which appear at the end of that movement and return so strikingly at the end of the work—and the way the scherzo's abrasive insistence returns in the piano bass of the finale is truly hair-raising' (BBC Music Magazine)» More

'For her new Prokofiev release Ibragimova teams up with Steven Osborne in one of those astute mergers of talent for which Hyperion is well known. Osborne revealed his penchant for Prokofiev last year in the Visions fugitives and Sarcasms that accompanied his compelling, multi-faceted interpretation of Musorgsky’s Pictures from an Exhibition (CDA67896). In the two Prokofiev violin sonatas, his instincts are just as finely honed … performances of depth of perception and strength of character … shifting kaleidoscopes in the piano part and the subtle vocal inflections of the violin' (The Daily Telegraph)» More

'The dark moods of the F minor Sonata … are relished to the full by both musicians: the range of colours and the precision of the rhythmic articulation are two notable features of a performance that grips the listener from start to finish, thanks to its unflinching conviction as well as its consummate skill. It’s a magnificent performance. The D major Sonata (originally written for flute and piano and transcribed at Oistrakh’s request) is even better. The attention to detail, to subtle nuances, is breathtaking, and the overall drive and momentum of the performance results in a reading as fine as any I’ve heard, in sound that is better than most. It’s interesting to compare Ibragimova and Osborne with Kremer and Argerich (DG). While the latter is a magnificent partnership by any standards … I get a feeling of even greater involvement and excitement from the new Hyperion disc … this Prokofiev disc is a triumphant achievement, recommended without reservation' (International Record Review)» More

'Prokofiev's two violin sonatas make a stark juxtaposition. The F minor is a big-boned, dark-hued expression of feeling that can be taken as mourning for the depredations of Soviet terror; the D major is one of those seraphically contented neoclassical excursions that adorn mid-20th-century music. They are played here with an intense-feeling virtuosity, Ibragimova equally magnificent in restraint—as when executing those 'graveyard' scales slipping in during the F minor—and when belting out, say, the second movement of that work, as strongly contrasted with its predecessor as the whole sonata is with its successor' (The Sunday Times)» More

'There is something deeply disturbing, and at the same time uplifting, in the violin music of Sergei Prokofiev. Such extremes are encapsulated in this captivating recording of both Violin Sonatas and the Five Melodies by Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova and Scots pianist Steven Osborne. Their reading of the F minor Violin Sonata combines angst-ridden weight with vigorous spirit and blissful moments of timeless beauty. The Five Melodies offer a deliciously poetic and nuanced transition to the brighter skies of the Sonata No 2, a work transcribed from the Flute Sonata, which this duo present with radiant self-assurance' (The Scotsman)» More

The Violin Sonata No 2 in D major is of a very different character—generally sunny and carefree, though still with occasional fleeting shadows from the dark world of the First Sonata. In its original form it was a Flute Sonata, Op 94, which Prokofiev had completed in 1943 while in Perm to discuss staging his ballet Cinderella with the evacuated Kirov company. Its themes, according to his biographer Israel Nestyev, were originally sketched before the war, and were inspired by the French flute player Georges Barrère. At David Oistrakh’s suggestion and with his assistance, Prokofiev transcribed this Sonata to create the Second Violin Sonata, Op 94bis.

The opening movement harks back to the neoclassical style of Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No 5 of 1923 (which in turn appears to have inspired Poulenc’s Flute Sonata of 1956–7) and of Cinderella. The second movement scherzo is initially light and capricious, but the piano part in particular introduces an increasingly sardonic tone, and the movement does not so much finish as come to an abrupt halt. There are further hints of disquieted emotions in the third movement, which has some thematic material in common with the third movement of Prokofiev’s then not yet completed First Violin Sonata. It also contains a striking passage of bluesy rumination: an admirer of jazz, Prokofiev at one stage held semi-clandestine meetings with fellow aficionados in his Moscow apartment in which he played recordings he had brought back from his foreign tours. Ultimately, though, it ends with an upbeat finale which includes in a central interlude one of Prokofiev’s sweetest melodies (which Poulenc, again, would recall in his Oboe Sonata, dedicated to Prokofiev’s memory).

from notes by Daniel Jaffé © 2014

La Sonate pour violon nº 2 en ré majeur est d’un tout autre caractère: elle est globalement radieuse et insouciante, malgré de fugitives ombres venues de la noire Sonate nº 1. La Sonate pour flûte op.94 originelle avait été achevée en 1943 à Perm, où Prokofiev s’était rendu pour discuter de la mise en scène de son ballet Cendrillon avec la compagnie du Kirov, alors évacuée. Selon son biographe Israël Nestiev, il en avait d’abord esquissé les thèmes avant la guerre, inspiré par le flûtiste français Georges Barrère. Ce fut sur la suggestion de David Oïstrakh, et avec son aide, qu’il en fit la Sonate pour violon nº 2 op.94 bis.

Le mouvement d’ouverture renvoie au néoclassicisme de la Sonate pour piano nº 5 (qui date de 1923 et semble avoir inspiré à son tour la Sonate pour flûte de Poulenc, en 1956/7) et de Cendrillon. Le scherzo du deuxième mouvement est d’abord léger et fantasque mais la partie de piano, notamment, introduit un ton de plus en plus sardonique et le mouvement s’arrête brutalement plus qu’il ne finit. D’autres allusions à des émotions inquiètes sont perceptibles dans le troisième mouvement, dont un peu du matériau thématique se retrouvera dans le troisième mouvement de la Sonate pour violon nº 1, pas encore achevée. On y trouve aussi une saisissante rumination bluesy: à un moment, Prokofiev organisa dans son appartement moscovite des réunions semi-clandestines où des aficionados de jazz, comme lui, venaient écouter des disques rapportés de ses tournées à l’étranger. Finalement, il achève sa sonate sur un finale anacroustique incluant dans un interlude central une de ses plus douces mélodies (dont Poulenc, là encore, se souviendra dans sa Sonate pour hautbois, dédiée à la mémoire de Prokofiev).

extrait des notes rédigées par Daniel Jaffé © 2014
Français: Hypérion

Die Violinsonate Nr. 2 in D-Dur besitzt einen völlig anderen Charakter—im Großen und Ganzen handelt es sich hierbei um ein sonniges und sorgloses Stück, obwohl gelegentlich Schatten aus der dunklen Welt der Ersten Sonate vorbeihuschen. Ursprünglich war dieses Werk als Flötensonate, op. 94, entstanden, die Prokofjew 1943 vollendet hatte, während er sich in Perm aufhielt, um eine Inszenierung seines Balletts Cinderella mit der evakuierten Kirow-Truppe zu besprechen. Seinem Biographen Israel Nestjew zufolge hatte Prokofjew die Themen des Werks bereits vor dem Krieg skizziert, wobei der französische Flötist Georges Barrère eine wichtige Inspirationsquelle war. Auf David Oistrachs Anregung hin und mit seiner Hilfe bearbeitete Prokofjew das Werk und schuf damit seine Zweite Violinsonate, op. 94bis.

Der Anfangssatz greift auf den neoklassizistischen Stil von Prokofjews Klaviersonate Nr. 5 (die ihrerseits offenbar die Inspirationsquelle für Poulencs Flötensonate von 1956/7 war) aus dem Jahre 1923 sowie auf Cinderella zurück. Der zweite Satz, ein Scherzo, ist zunächst leicht und kapriziös gehalten, doch nimmt besonders das Klavier einen immer mokanteren Ton an; der Satz endet nicht wirklich, sondern hält vielmehr plötzlich inne und fährt dann nicht weiter fort. Im dritten Satz, dessen thematisches Material sich zum Teil mit dem des dritten Satzes der Ersten Violinsonate (die zu dem Zeitpunkt noch nicht vollendet war) deckt, finden sich weitere Anspielungen auf beunruhigte Stimmungen. Ebenso enthält dieser Satz frappanterweise eine grüblerische, bluesartige Passage: als Jazz-Bewunderer hielt Prokofjew in seiner Moskauer Wohnung eine gewisse Zeit lang halb-geheime Treffen mit Gleichgesinnten ab, wobei er Platten spielte, die er von seinen Konzertreisen im Westen mitgebracht hatte. Letztendlich schließt die Sonate jedoch mit einem optimistischen Finale, das in einem Zwischenspiel im Herzen des Satzes eine der süßesten Melodien Prokofjews überhaupt enthält—an die Poulenc wiederum in seiner Oboensonate erinnerte, die dem Andenken an Prokofjew gewidmet ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Daniel Jaffé © 2014
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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