Vadim Repin - Live at the Louvre
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But this is mix-and-match time, and for the Schubert Sonata in A, D. 574 (aka "Grand Duo") the pianist is Ralph Gothoni, who is unknown to me. He and Repin don't complement each other as perfectly as in the previous number, but they are very fine in their own right. Repin's tone is less varied here, which isn't a criticism; he handles Schubert's fairly simple violin writing in the right carefree style -- this is a smiling performance. I am by no means an expert in Schubert's violin compositions, but this performance seems impeccable.
After France and Germany comes Russia, in the form of Prokofiev's Sonata for Two Violins Op. 56, where Repin plays second fiddle to Anton Barachovsky, not that the ear can distinguish between the two sight unseen. Their playing is exceptional, as attuned to Prokofiev's romantic modernism as any Russian aficionado could wish. Along with the Debussy, this is a stunning reading. With the main events over, we get two novel encores. The slinky "Blues" from Ravel's Sonata in G, his last chamber work, features some striking pizzicatos and strangely off-kilter rhythms that seem more modernist than anything Ravel usually did. finally comes a two-minute gypsy fling where Repin is joined by Roby Lakatos (renowned, it appears as a gypsy fiddler), sending the audience into joyous rhythmic applause.
In all, a recording I never expected to be so excited over, but one that is superb in every way -- it gave me newfound respect for Repin's talent.