J.S Bach: Sonatas & Partitas Double CD
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Alina Ibragimova, violon
'One player, one instrument, one composer: Bach's unaccompanied violin music has always been the greatest for any player, young or old. Alina Ibragimova, only 23, is already its equal'. --The Guardian
'Alina Ibragimova began to play unaccompanied Bach on the violin, and the hush became silence. This was spontaneous, the first sense that something new could happen' --The Independent
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Top customer reviews
For me these performances are free of stylistic mannerisms (although they are informed by period instrument performance) and they simply get to the music - which is as pure and direct as anything in Western music.
Recorded sound is bright and clear but with a sympathetic acoustic behind.
Yes Ibragimova's playing shows fine technique and a glorious sound, but it is all in service of the music - which is the best test of a fine musician.
She delivers with aplomb, finesse, refinement, expressive power and virtuosity to perfection, music characterized by a dazzlingly intricate range of harmonic possibilities, miraculous subtlety, and astounding beauty. You have the feeling that the violin is her alter ego while she possesses a phenomenal insight into Bach's music for solo violin.
Her rendition impacted on me a uniquely gratifying feeling while it exceeded my high expectations. I anticipated a talented violinist and was confronted with a magician.
Whar a revelation it is to hear this music played without the ubiquitous use of vibrato. The violin, when it is allowed to speak, has its own characteristic sound, as has the oboe or the clarinet. The over-use of vibrato suppresses it, it demasculates it. She also avoids the mechanical swelling of the middle of every long note, a practice that makes short notes without a swell and long ones with a swell sound as if played on different instruments. There is nothing mechanical about the way Ibragimova shapes her notes, which is always completely natural and highly expressive.
In fact, she plays this music as if it had not been written by another person at all, by a composer, but as if a greast creative surge through her was creating it for the very first time ever. And than that, surely, there can be no greater praise
By contrast, she takes the Chaconne quite slowly (14:11) - compared with Grumiaux (13:30) and Wallfisch (13:13), but this feels like an exploration and each note a hesitant step at first. But as it progresses, the confidence rises and the playing gently accelerates and opens out.
I compared Ibragimova's version of this movement with two others I own, Grumiaux and Wallfisch. Both seem thick and blurred by comparison. This may have something to do with the production of Ibragimova's disk, which seems remarkably in sympathy with the player, but I suspect that she actually does play with extreme clarity.
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