Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International
November 2015

Alina Ibragimova already has a very fine recording of the reconstructed Concerto for violin and oboe, BWV1060R, to her credit (with Alexei Ogrintchouk (oboe), together with other reconstructed Bach oboe concertos, BIS-SACD-1769). She has also recorded the solo violin sonatas and partitas for Hyperion (CDA67691/2) and she wowed the 2015 Proms audience with these solo pieces and appeared there in a matinée with Apollo’s Fire in BWV1042.

Now she offers the two secure Bach violin concertos together with some credible reconstructions, from the keyboard concertos Nos 1, 4 and 5. Though at least two of these were probably intended originally for the oboe or oboe d’amore, let me say at the outset that I enjoyed her recordings of all the concertos very much. Were there not such very strong competition I might well have made this a Recording of the Month.

Ibragimova sounds fairly forward on Hyperion, so that ‘barest sliver’ comes over a little louder than seems to have been the case in the flesh, but her playing in the slow movement remains very sensitive indeed and the finale is just as refreshing as it was live.

The same high standard is maintained in the a-minor concerto, BWV1041. I can’t claim to have heard all the available versions—there are over 140 in the current UK catalogue—but this is without question one of the best of the many recordings of this work that I do know.