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Several years ago I heard Alina Ibragimova play Shostakovich's Violin Concerto No 1 with another orchestra (the BBC Philharmonic). It was quite simply one of the best performances of any piece of music that I have ever heard. I have heard other performances of this work since then and, although each one has been very powerful, none has quite compared with Alina Ibragimova's. I was therefore excited whien I discovered that she had recorded it, and with a very favourable review in the BBC Music Magazine. I therefore ordered it straight away. I have listened to it many times and have not been disappointed. It is an incredibly moving concerto and I can't imagine it being played better. Each time I listgen to it I feel as if the soloist is communicating directly with me.
I had not heard Shostakovich's Second Violin Concerto before, and it was an exciting discovery. Its somewhat spare, mysterious style reminds me of the composer's Fifteenth Symphony. It is quickly becoming another favourite.
I bought the disc on the strength of Alina Imbragimova whom I listened to, in an exemplary rendition of Bach's 'Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin'; the rendition in the present compilation was the best confirmation of my high anticipation, Alina Imbragimova, conveying with virtuosity and fidelity the emotions and tensions of these works while the quality of the sound is excellent. Both works are original, moving masterpieces.
The completed first concerto is virtually unique among violin concertos in having four movements, the emotion of which runs deep; the resulting concerto is genuinely symphonic - not solely for having four movements - and Shostakovitch himself once called it 'a symphony for violin and orchestra'. I mentioned the preceding to give due credit to Vladimir Jarowski, Director and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra 'Evgeny Svetlanov' for an exquisite accompaniment. The concerto is presently, justifiably regarded as one of the great violin concerts of the century. There is a greatly significant aspect to the performance of the first concerto, offering the listener the exceptionally rare opportunity of hearing the concerto as originally conceived in that the folk-like burlesque theme opening the finale is stated by Alina Ibragimova.
The first concerto is a personal expression arising from first- hand experiences deep in Shostakovitch's creative subconscious mind of the cost of the war (the USSR had seen over 26 million military and civilian deaths in four years of conflict more than any other nation including Germany). The concerto was dedicated to the distinguished violinist, David Oistrakh. It was completed in 1948 but the cultural uncertainties of the time prevented him from releasing his deeply serious and often 'private' now violin concerto to the public. It was not until October 1955, with Stalin dead, and a more liberal regime in place, that the violin concerto was premiered with the Leningrad Philharmonic under Yevgeny Mravinsky.
Shostakovitch, similarly dedicated the second violin concerto to Oistrakh on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. The premiere was given in Bolshevo, near Moscow, on 13 September 1967 by Oistrakh with the Moscow Philharmonic under Kirril Kondrashin. The work calls for a somewhat smaller orchestra than the first concerto. Unlike the first concerto, the second has three movements, and is slightly shorter in duration. There are thematic similarities between the works, and at times rather stronger textural ones - both concertos begin identically in giving the initial melodic idea to cellos and double basses in octaves alone, almost a kind of linking code. The nature of each concerto rarely permits lightening of tension, yet they are in many ways very different compositions. If the first concerto can be thought as the personification of the composer (Shostakovitch's famous DSCH 'motto'is heard), the second has subtleties that may almost imply a portrait of the soloist.
This is a magnificent recording of the two Shostakovich Violin Concertos. Performances are terrific - worthy to be placed beside Oistrakh & Mravinsky or Mitropoulos - not to forget the fine recording by Mordkovich & Neene Jarvi. Fire & sensitivity combined with profound insights make this a not to miss CD release....
les deux concertos pour violon de Shostakovich sont un défi ardu,différent d'un violoniste à l'autre.par leurs nombreuses difficultés...Sans déloger la supériorité d'Oistrakh,j'ai bien aimé la version étonnante d'ALINA ABRAGIMOVA ....sonorité,intonation,justesse saisissante ,,,,UNE RÉUSSITE ENVIABLE...Jean-Guy Gaulin
These new recordings from Moscow in 2019 make a fine addition to my collection of Shostakovich violin concertos, along with the magisterial David Oistrakh, the mercurial Lydia Mordkovitch, and the impassioned Maxim Vengerov. Alina Ibragimova (b. 1985) was born in Russia, but is now based in the U.K. Conductor Vladimir Jurowski (b. 1972) was born in Moscow, and has held several prestigious positions, including ten years as Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, before recently becoming Artistic Director of the State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia "Evgeny Svetlanov," which he leads here.
Hyperion's recording quality is excellent. Ibragimova shows her virtuoso skills in the Cadenza to the third movement of the First Concerto, and this recording restores DSCH's original score, with the violinist playing on into the beginning of the fourth movement, instead of taking a break and leaving an orchestral passage, as requested by Oistrakh, who may have performed the work more times than any other violinist.
Like Mordkovitch on Chandos, Ibragimova makes a strong case for the neglected Second Concerto, written for Oistrakh.
In short, stunning new Shostakovich for a year when we can really use it!