The young violinist Alina Ibragimova is already established as an admired recording artist, standing alongside great artists of the past and present with her versions of Bach and Beethoven’s violin works. She appears on this latest release with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Vladimir Jurowski (in his Hyperion premiere) in a programme which includes a classic of the concerto repertoire: Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, Op 64. Ibragimova’s is a glittering, knife-edge performance, her playing a portrayal in itself of the music’s passion held in control through exquisite craft. The Violin Concerto in D minor—an unusual and welcome pairing—is an early work, written when the composer was only thirteen. As with Mendelssohn’s other juvenile works it is extraordinarily accomplished and exceedingly charming.
what was the thinking behind teaming together a soloist who uses vibrato, albeit tastefully, and a string band who don't? Not that I necessarily object to the result...Ibragimova's sensitive playing wins the day, with some superlative quiet moments and at all times a loyal adherence to the composer's markings and a sure sense of the music's phrasing and architecture. BBC *****
Ibragimova's playing combines verve, brilliance and imaginative intelligence. Mendelssohn's dynamics are scrupulously observed...But if listeners that they are hearing an approximation of an 1840s performance, they should think again. No one could accuse Ibragimova of vibrating excessively, yet she uses vibrato on the modern way, to aid tone production and projection. Gramophone
Ibragimova’s performance suggests she perceives Mendelssohn as a pure classicalist. She and conductor Jurowski downplays any aspect of the music that might suggest Mendelssohn harbored any Romantic inclinations. The performance uses very little rubato, and Jurowski urges the orchestra ever forward. MusicWeb
Her absolute unanimity with the woodwind, which joins her in the scampering main theme, is breathtaking, and her occasional discrete use of portamento feels completely apt. This is a delightful, compelling performance from beginning to end, the equal of any in the catalogue. BBC Radio