I still recall the first time I heard this concerto. Ida Haendel played it on the proms, and I taped it from my uncertain radio 3 signal, hoping, as usual, that the reception would hold out. I still recall the shock of hearing her end the first movement, how she gradually drained all color from the sound, and flicked the last note of the first movement upwards into a haunted harmonic.
Sorry. I'm going on about a recording I no longer have! This one does the same sort of tonal magic, though. Ibragimova catches the unsentimental mood of the music perfectly. There is the sense that this work is about something too important to trivialise into virtuosity.
And the recording is splendid - BBCs new high-quality stream is a constant companion these days, despite the sad trivialisation of Radio 3.
mp3 320kbs, tracked and tagged, with a photo of Ms Ibragimova
Download from mediafire