Alina Ibragimova / Cédric Tiberghien BEETHOVEN Violin Sonatas - 2

Beethoven produced a total of 10 sonatas for violin and piano during his career, the majority of which came early on when the composer himself was still a young man and the violin sonata as a genre was yet to be entirely defined. Although many of the world's most seasoned, venerable performers have laid down recordings of these great compositions, there's something to be said about youthful, fresh bright-eyed performers tackling the sonatas of a composer who was very much still making a name for himself. Second in a series of recitals devoted to the 10 violin sonatas, this Wigmore Hall album features a live recording of violinist Alina Ibragimova and pianist Cédric Tiberghien performing the sonatas Opp. 12/2, 24, and 96. Not only do both musicians possess a wonderfully polished, refined technique on their respective instruments, but also a stunning degree of musical sophistication and maturity. Ibragimova's playing is carefree but accurate, and full of brazen risk-taking that pays off again and again. Tiberghien is much more than just a sensitive accompanist, but rather a full partner in what quickly proves to be a true dialogue between the instruments. Every aspect of their venture -- dynamics, phrasing, articulation, pacing, balance -- match seamlessly from the very beginning. Although Op. 96 is not as youthful as the other two on this album, Ibragimova and Tiberghien prove that they are just as capable and comfortable delivering this mature, introspective work as well. Listeners should look forward to the release of the remainder of what is sure to be a memorable survey. (Mike D. Brownell)

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