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Album: Bartok / Shostakovich Violin Concertos, (Ambrosie/Naive)

The raw immediacy of Yossif Ivanov's tone is the first thing to strike in this pairing of two of the mid-20th century's most pungent violin concertos.

Beauty is slow to come and short-lived in the Bartok; quickly chased away by the bristling snares in the opening movement. Pinchas Steinberg and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic are impassioned accompanists here and in Shostakovich's "Concerto No 1". Ivanov's characterisation is edgy and intelligent through-out, his sound big and forthright.