Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas

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Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas
Alina Ibragimova (violin), Steven Osborne (piano)

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 27 June 2014

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Gramophone Magazine Editor's Choice August 2014
BBC Music Magazine Chamber Choice August 2014

Hyperion is delighted to present this collaboration-an extraordinary force on the concert platform-in its first appearance on record. Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne are musicians of searing, uncompromising intelligence and intense feeling.

In his works for the violin, Prokofiev produced some of his most personal and expressive music. Both of his Violin Sonatas were written for David Oistrakh. The First was begun against the backdrop of Stalin's Great Terror, in 1938, and one senses that he drew his inspiration from the uncharacteristically dark wells of fear, despair and bereavement which were the lot of Prokofiev and his contemporaries. The Violin Sonata No 2 in D major is of a very different character-generally sunny and carefree, though still with occasional fleeting shadows from the dark world of the First Sonata. In its original form it was a Flute Sonata, Op 94, which Prokofiev had completed in 1943. At David Oistrakh's suggestion and with his assistance, Prokofiev transcribed this Sonata to create the Second Violin Sonata, Op 94bis.

'One of the biggest joys of the London concert scene in recent years has been the opening up of the musical world of Alina Ibragimova, a world that seems to know no bounds … here she was partnered by Steven Osborne-a meeting of minds and talents that had that paradoxical effect, common to the best collaborations, of two strongly contrasted individuals speaking with one voice. The First Sonata really let fly … quiet but powerfully sustained in the slow music, a fount of uncorked energy in the more frequent fast sections, Ibragimova dug deep into Prokofiev's aching heart, profiling the jagged motifs of the Allegro brusco second movement as vividly as she tore into the syncopated rhythms of the battling finale-every phrase stamped with conviction and gravitas' (Financial Times)

"Two of today's most impressive soloists unite in pieces both introspective and lyrical, and - particularly the First Sonata - deeply emotional. Musical collaboration at its most intense and thoughtful." (Gramophone Editor's Choice July 2014)

"there is always room for performances of the depth of perception and strength of character that Ibragimova and Osborne give...In tandem with the comparative calm of the Second Sonata there is also a vitalising impetus and an apt palette of colour that distinguishes the whole disc." Five Stars Daily Telegraph

'Alina Ibragimova's probing musical intelligence and Steven Osborne's protean muscularity yield the dream team for a pair of war-time sonatas that couldn't be more different. From the first Sonata's confiding whispers to the exuberant panache of the Sonata No. 2's Finale they take everything in their peerless stride. Revelatory.'
BBC Music Magazine Award Nomination 2015 - Chamber


Violin Sonata No 1 in F minor Op 80 [26'51]
1. Andante assai [6'24]
2. Allegro brusco [6'17]
3. Andante [7'13]
4. Allegrissimo [6'57]

Five Melodies Op 35bis [11'49]
5. Andante [1'52]
6. Lento, ma non troppo [2'25]
7. Animato, ma non allegro [3'10]
8. Allegretto leggero e scherzando [1'06]
9. Andante non troppo [3'16]

Violin Sonata No 2 in D major Op 94bis [22'03]
10. Moderato [7'08]
11. Scherzo: Presto [4'22]
12. Andante [3'32]
13. Allegro con brio [7'01]