Alina Ibragimova, Cedric Tiberghien (***); Alexander Chaushian, Ashley Wass (****)
Wigmore Hall, London
Tuesday 08 January 2013
Violinist Alina Ibragimova’s last Wigmore foray was clever but cold: she’d brilliantly mastered the notes in Bach’s solo sonatas and partitas, but completely failed to find their spirit.
Could her partnership with pianist Cedric Tiberghien – who finds poetry in everything he plays – help her deal more satisfactorily with Schubert? Their programme was an unusual one, with three ‘sonatinas’ written by the teenage Schubert to be played with his brother. They may be Mozart-influenced and simple in construction, but they are distinguished throughout by a graceful limpidity.
As a pianist Schubert naturally lavished more care on the keyboard part, and Tiberghien’s warmth and expressiveness, allied to the bloom on his tone, ensured that one hung on his every note. Ibragimova deployed the immaculately clean intonation for which she is famed, but for the first half hour she short-changed the romance in this music: instead of something gutsy she produced a bleached, oddly viol-like sound. But gradually she loosened up, letting Schubert’s eagerness get into her bow-arm until she was matching her partner’s fire. This recital was being broadcast on Radio 3: if she does a listen-again, she may see where she needs to enrich her palette.
There was no such imbalance between the two musicians who took over the stage later in the day. The way cellist Alexander Chaushian and pianist Ashley Wass launched into Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in G minor suggested two minds with but a single thought, with a wonderfully poised and ruminative introduction. This early work represented Beethoven’s pioneering discovery of the aesthetic potential residing in this hitherto under-rated instrumental combination, and Chaushian and Wass offered a magisterial exploration of the sonata’s dramatic landscape; the Allegro had Jove-like thunder, the Rondo hurtled along.
Their account of Brahms’s Cello Sonata in F was no less idiomatic. This, like the Beethoven, had been written for the composer to perform alongside a top virtuoso, and here we got virtuosity in spades; one could have wished for the opening of the Adagio to have been dreamier, but their approach worked impressively in its own terms. Ending with Grieg’s over-the–top Cello Sonata in A minor, they again demonstrated an ideal symbiosis, but no power on earth could make a silk purse from this sow’s ear of a piece, with its tiresome repetitions and its factitious fury.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
Game of Thrones season 4 blooper reel unveiled at Comic-Con 2014
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral backlash from US parenting groups
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Doctor Who series 8: Watch Peter Capaldi in new ‘Listen!’ teaser trailer
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc