Gramophone Magazine Awards Issue 2011 Editor's Choice
Maurice Ravel’s mature works for violin and piano have established a central place in the core recital repertoire and are considered among the most popular of the genre. These diverse works acknowledge the influences of a range of musical styles from jazz to Impressionism and fuse the tonal colours of Debussy with the lyricism of Franck.
The posthumously published one-movement Violin Sonata, written by Ravel as a student, is a lyrical precursor to the composer’s stunning Violin Sonata in G major with its unique character and adoption of the ‘blues’ idiom. The spontaneity, tonal colours and exotic soundscapes in Ravel’s violin music call for immense skill in interpretation, and passages in the frenzied Tzigane test the limits of the performers’ virtuosity.
Violinist Alina Ibragmiova rises to these challenges with extraordinary verve. Recent winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award, she displays a vast expressive range and interpretative maturity.
She is accompanied by pianist Cédric Tiberghien, who gives elegant and flawless performances and relishes Ravel’s iridescent piano parts.
The addition of Guillaume Lekeu’s masterwork, the extensive and engaging Violin Sonata, makes this major new release a chamber disc to treasure.
Tiberghien and Ibragimova certainly don't hold back from sweeping intensity but they still retain a measure of objectivity, finding places to relax and never pushing the expression beyond what sounds beautiful...the details are wonderfully idiomatic...It all adds up to a must-hear recital. Gramophone
Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien possess the rare gift of being able to recreate on disc the same captivating spontaneity and musical intensity that distinguishes their concerts. Rarely have the sleek lines and textures of Ravel's two sonatas, nor the manic drive of Tzigane so deliriously intoxicating. Classic fm *****
Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien are utterly convincing advocates, matching the ebb and flow of this work's intense and slow-burning passion...Ibragimova charms with more than limpid tone. Whether it is the willingness to sound dirty in the 'blues', or the hushed caresses in the heart of the posthumous Sonata, it is clear she is under the skin of this music. BBC ****