Sonatina in G minor for Violin and Piano, D408
Suite No.2 for solo violin
Sonata for Piano and Violin in F, Op.24 (Spring)
Alina Ibragimova (violin) & Cédric Tiberghien (piano)
Reviewed by: Ben Hogwood
Reviewed: 24 September, 2007
Venue: Wigmore Hall, London
An intriguing programme to form the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert from Alina Ibragimova, framing a forward-looking solo piece by Karl Amadeus Hartmann with two works that look to treat violin and piano on an equal footing.
Hartmann’s Second Suite is an intriguing piece, particularly in its moving slow movement, where Ibragimova found a serene mood of contemplation that drew a sharp parallel with the cutting ‘Scherzo’ and rumbustuous ‘Finale’. Hartmann’s musical language takes its lead in this piece from the violin part for Stravinsky’s “Tbe Soldier’s Tale” but nevertheless retains an elusive individuality, a quality Abragimova seemed fully tapped into. She has recorded a Hartmann CD for Hyperion (reviewed on this site).
Continuing the emphasis on melody, Beethoven’s ‘Spring’ Sonata was always engaging and frequently charming, the syncopated wit of the scherzo particularly standing out after an Adagio that blossomed after a careful start.
Cédric Tiberghien’s sense of balance and melodic phrasing ensured the first movement’s main theme flowed in an easy but not too relaxed interpretation. Ibragimova’s bright, sweet-natured tone aligned well, especially with the upper register writing, while in the finale the dialogue between the two sparkled.
Schubert’s modestly titled sonatinas enjoy more exposure nowadays, thanks in part to Ibragimova’s sometime-collaborator and mentor Gidon Kremer. Here the ensemble was crisp, important in the G minor work where the strident opening sets the tone for the whole first movement. The lyrical Andante found the bow light on the string, while both performers clearly enjoyed the slightly furtive humour of the Menuetto and the finale, which stressed the sleight of tonality used by Schubert to turn for home and a bright major key conclusion.