Maurice Ravels mature works for violin and piano have established a central place in the core recital repertoire and are considered among the most popular of the genre. These diverse works acknowledge the influences of a range of musical styles from jazz to Impressionism and fuse the tonal colours of Debussy with the lyricism of Franck. The posthumously published one-movement Violin Sonata, written by Ravel as a student, is a lyrical precursor to the composers stunning Violin Sonata in G major with its unique character and adoption of the blues idiom. Thespontaneity, tonal colours and exotic soundscapes in Ravels violin music call for immense skill in interpretation, and passages in the frenzied Tzigane test the limits of the performers virtuosity. Violinist Alina Ibragmiova rises to these challenges with extraordinary verve. Recent winner of the Royal Philharmonic Societys prestigious Young Artist of the Year award, she displays a vast expressive range and interpretative maturity. She is accompanied by pianist Cédric Tiberghien, who gives elegant and flawless performances and relishes Ravels iridescent piano parts. The addition of Guillaume Lekeus masterwork, the extensive and engaging Violin Sonata, makes this major new release a chamber disc to treasure.
Another captivating disc,which captures the heady sensuality and distinctive Gallic colours of Ravel and Lekeu in all their pristine glory. ***** EDITORS CHOICE --Classic fm Magazine,Oct'11
Ibragimova charms with more than limpid tone.Whether it is the willingness to sound dirty in the 'blues',or the hush caresses in the heart of the posthumous Sonata,it is clear she is under the skin of this music. Performance **** Recording **** --BBC Music Magaine,Oct'11
This is a most enjoyable disc, not just for the splendid performances but for the programme,which adds Guillame Lekeu's Violin Sonata to the complete work for violin and piano by Ravel. --IRR,Sept'11
Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien have become today's partnership of choice for violin and piano repertory. Their reputation is founded on their Beethoven, but they are just as compelling on this disc of music by Ravel and Guillaume Lekeu, the talented Belgian composer who died young in 1894. Ravel's best-known work for violin and piano is the brief but glorious Tzigane of 1924, but he was sometimes uneasy with the combination. He left his meandering First Violin Sonata incomplete in 1897. Its successor, begun in 1923, occupied him on and off for four years; you could argue that its tremendous central Blues, and its Perpetuum Mobile finale, are not an ideal fit with the opening Allegretto. By contrast, Lekeu's magisterial, post-Wagnerian Sonata displays a supremely natural sense of ebb and flow. The performance is particularly strong, with Ibragimova and Tiberghien alert to its underlying logic and self-conscious rapture. The Ravel is superbly done, too. Above all, the Tzigane is the real showstopper here: Ibragimova dispatches it with breathtaking dexterity.**** --Guardian,13/10/11
It all adds up to a must-hear recital. EDITORS CHOICE --Gramophone Awards issue'11
...the communicative spontaneity and freshness of (Ibragimova's) phrasing, the luminous delicacy of her tone, are remarkable. ***** --Musical Opinion,Mar/Apr'12