Geoff Brown
The Times
April 2018

Compared with some other multivolume series running through the classical schedules, the five releases in Hyperion’s set of Mozart’s violin sonatas may seem insignificant. The tally for the same label’s Romantic Piano Concerto series stands at 74. But it’s still a sad day for collectors now that Mozart has spun his last note.

The music of course is one of the attractions. Happy surprises are sprung even in the childhood sonatas, written at an age when I’d have been playing with Dinky Toys; while a later creation such as K526, maybe this album’s peak, almost bombards the listener with ingenuity, quirks and contrapuntal delight.

It’s the two glorious performers, though, who have really made this series essential. Alina Ibragimova’s violin tone may be lacking a taste of honey, but her wiry, athletic leaps and puckered notes bring zestful life to every bar. Cédric Tiberghien’s piano, thrusting along, rhythms crisp, is more galvanising still, in keeping with the sonatas’ beginnings as keyboard sonatas with violin decorations. The repertoire swings between the youthful and the mature, and includes a charming variation set and the K570 piano sonata, laced up with a violin part added by rogue hands. I loved it all.

The Times