The classical review magazines are united in their praise for this young violinist - how right they are. The Brahms is quite superb . It has no peer as the Suk/katchen version is sounding a little old but this is at the same high level . The Bach is immensely spiritual and mature beyond its years and the Schubert which always struck me as a dull bit of notespinning is charming and does not seem a momnet too long. This would be a great CD at full price by an established star artist - a debut at budget price it is unmissable!
There's something David Oistrakh-like about the way Batiashvili communicates the essence of the music with aplomb and artistic insight (her teacher Mark Lubotsky was a pupil of Oistrakh). The depth of interpretation and the intellectual grasp of the structure in Brahms' Violin Sonata No.1 and Bach's Partita No.1 is way beyond her age. I don't know much about the pianist, but she plays beautifully with subtlety matching the expressiveness of the violinist.
I hope she records all of Brahms' Sonatas and Bach's unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas in future.
I have over 1,000 classical CDs concentrating on artists such as Callas, Toscanini, Furtwangler, Fischer-Dieskau etc so have heard good performances. I have also never written a review for Amazon before. But this recital is amazing from anybody, let alone a young artist - which is why I've been moved to do so. The Brahms, of which I have many versions, has the greatest depth of feeling, particularly in the slow movement, I have ever heard with fabulous intonation and control of the colour given to the notes. The Bach is superbly pure in line, ability to sustain long passages in an entirely integrated way and again completely remarkable colouration of individual notes. I have the Bach performed by Milstein, in several versions, Perlman, the young Menuhin and many others and this is the best I have ever heard. I know the classical recording industry is in a mess but if someone doesn't snap Batiashvili up for a recording contract it is virtually a criminal activity. At its low price this is a simply incredible bargain, but the most important thing is that she goes on to record more. If future recordings of this standard she is someone who will still be listened to in a hundred years time. To give a comparison the last time someone so completely trumped the field in standard repertoire in my opinion was Carlos Kleiber's performance of Beethoven's 5th symphony - and that is generally regarded as one of the great recordings of all time. I would place this CD on the same level.
This is a CD you listen to again and again and never stop finding it completly wonderful. The Brahms is simple, clear and unfussy, played with poise and a real sense of its beauty. But it is the Bach that is the highlight of this CD. This is flawless, intense, perfect beauty. The Allemande strikes a perfect balance between grandness and intimacy; the Sarabande is heart-renching and beautifully phrased. I listened to my Grumiaux recording afterwards, which I now find strident and mechanical compared to this outstanding performance.