Sunday, March 4, 2012

Alina Ibragimova in Bach, Biber and Vivalidi

I really am going to get my leg pulled about this one by BOOM, who already refers to this blog as my 'shrine to the lovely Alina'. But I couldn't resist it. Ill as I was last night, I got up to listen to this concert, and enjoyed it so much I listened to the whole thing again, with a glass or two of wine for company. 

It is causing me to have misgivings about the violin though. Is it possible that there's an ugly woman out there who plays the violin well? If so, why hasn't she got a recording contract?

In this concert, Ibragimova swaps her usual violin for a baroque Amati. The Biber pieces, in particular, are a revelation. The astonishing
Passacaglia starts from almost nothing and builds up in a hypnotic thread of utter concentration.  I've known the Battalia for years, thanks to an ancient Archiv recording, and it still delights me in its inventiveness. In the course of it, the strings imitate the sounds of battle, drunken soldiers singing in different keys, and lamentation. 

As a director, Ibragimova goes for dangerous speeds at times, but nothing the AAM can't handle. She's joined by Rodolfo Richter and Joseph Crouch in the Vivaldi Op 3 and by harpsichordist Alastair Ross in the sonata. 

Biber - Passacaglia in G minor from the Mystery/Rosary Sonatas
Bach - Sonata for violin and harpsichord in E major, BWV 1016
Bach - Violin Concerto in A minor, BWV 1041
Vivaldi - Violin Concerto in D major, RV 234 (L'inquietudine)
Vivaldi - Concerto for two violins and cello in D major, Op. 3 no. 11 (RV 565)
Biber - Battalia
Bach - Violin Concerto in E major, BWV 1042.

Alina Ibragimova (violin and direction), Academy of Ancient Music
Assembly Rooms in Ludlow, 3rd March 2012

Radio 3 HD Internet Stream, normalised, tracked and tagged

Download from Rapidshare


  1. >> Is it possible that there's an ugly woman out there who plays the violin well? If so, why hasn't she got a recording contract? <<

    I guess this one was the last to record before the onslaught of impossibly gorgeous and sexy Nymphets of the Bow...

  2. Maud Powell – not a bit of it. Look at the clear, open face! And that graceful wrist and hand. She doesn't look like a starlet, but ugly she isn't.

  3. Ronan
    shouldn't a real shrine have a link to Alina's father website, Rinat Ibragimov, LSO principal double bass?

    scroll down to the 5th and 6th video.

    If this were not enough, here I have a "live studio recording" for Boom.

    Ms Ibragimova and members of the AAM playing Bach BWV1042 "a parti reali" as the italians say.

    (relevant and less relevant information included as separate file in the archive)

    I would second Boom on Maud Powell.
    I for one am not really enticed by Antje Weithaas' looks, but I think she deserves all the recording contracts she gets (which are probably less than Hilary Hahn, but still much more than Alina Pogostkina). Rachel Podger leaves me also somehow neutral (despite her lovely red hair, friendly smile and substantial number of recordings), I however enjoy her playing. Dutch radio just put up a short solo recital of hers; she played funnily enough Biber's passacaglia

    By the way, you would not happen to have recorded Khatia Buniatishvili's Prokofiev 1st piano concerto with BBCSO and Karabits + encore on Friday the 24th ? I ended up with a messed up mp4 header and had to resort to the lower quality online iplayer.


    1. Piero (PdA),

      I don't have Buniatishvili's Prokofiev's concerto, but if you'd like to hear her in a superlatively recorded Frank Piano Quintet from Utrecht (2009), let me know and I will upload it for you.


    2. Boom,
      I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding. My request was directed to our devoted BBCist (gotta be one to record ms Avdeeeva at 1:00 am, hope for him he just scheduled it).
      In any case thank you for the offer of the quintet but I saved it as soon as it came out. If interested, I got Schumann's piano quartet by the same folks minus Janine Jansen, same year and place.

    3. Piero,

      No misunderstanding! I simply "butted in" with an offer :)
      Glad to know you have this recording already, as I think it is quite well played.


    4. Piero – Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a gift! And glad you found some company here while I was away teaching!

      Well, I for one would be interested in the recordings you and Boom discussed. And I'm sorry that I don't have the Buniatishvili concerto, but I do have her doing sonatas by Beethoven and Rach with Truls Mork. Any interest?

    5. Ronan,

      I'll upload the Franck Quintet for you (that's all I have at the present time by Buniatishvili).

    6. Ronan,
      here you have the Schumann quartet. It is a copy of the original dutch radio file, the whole work in just one file with tuning between movements and long final applause. I only added some metadata (location, date tags etc) to make it selfcontained and renamed it.

      As to the Beethoven and Rach, I got it, thanks.
      If you are interested, I can upload the "Listen now" stream of the Prokofiev No1. I do not really know the bit rate of the stream (192 kbps? I read somewhere of an alleged 320 kbps, but have no way to check it), I save it through Audacity which uses a raw format. Also, the signal being looped through a fairly average audio card, the final sound comes out slighty thinner and sharper when compared to the original, though it is actually better than this warning would make it sound (and much better than having no sound at all). I might be a bit too daring on this but I think it might even pass the Boomtest.
      I also saved her Perth lunchtime concert,, plus a couple of recitals from 2010 (Dutch Radio4 and German WDR3).

    7. Piero – many thanks! Due to a dementedly busy week at work I am only now listening to the Schumann. It gets a really good performance from these young people! It's a work I far prefer to play than to listen to, normally. The piano part can sound a bit yammering if you're not really careful, and a lot of people aren't! But Khatia is well up to the job. She can create textures that are light and clear without sounding in the slightest bit held back.

  4. Unable to open item for playback (Unsupported format or corrupted file):
    "....Ibragimova_Bach_Biber\Ibragimova Bach Biber\Bach _ Sonata for violin and harpsichord in E major, BWV 1016 I. Adagio.m4a"

    is it just my problem? (the other tracks but intereview seem to be playable)

    1. I haven't had any other reports of a problem. The recording is direct from the BBC internet stream. All I do is track and tag it losslessly. Maybe try redownloading in case there was a glitch in the file as it downloaded?

    2. It has definitly nothing to do with downloading. Otherwise a problem would have occured while unzipping. Nevertheless I tried again and it took an hour or two for another DL (rapidshare completely "lost" it's rapidity for free users a while back as you may know).

      The result was the same: the first two tracks doesn't play with Foobar2000
      A similar error occured with Nero Wave Editor.

      I guess the errors were caused by some mulfucnction while "slicing" the stream into tracks. Certainly it is just my guess!

      Anyway, thank you very much for your efforts in sharing interesting recordings!

  5. I'll convert the audio to FLAC and re-upload. This will take a day or so. This should fix it.

  6. I downloaded the zip today 10 Mar and after unzipping, dragged the folder into Mac iTunes and everything's perfect. Thank you so much for making this wonderful concert available. I didn't get my act together last Saturday and was just capturing the iPlayer version before it disappears later today (128kbps) when I found your blog. +1 to being an unofficial fan, esp of the Baroque version.

  7. The problem seems to be with the actual format of m4a files, which are container files, so the audio inside them can be in one of a number of formats. If your media player doesn't correctly identify the audio format, then it chokes on the file. Apple apparently have done a lot of work to make sure that iTunes gets the format right, which is why iTunes seems to work on audio that other players have trouble with.

    I mention this because the editor I use does not re-encode the audio. It simply splits it into tracks, tags it and normalizes it (fits the dynamic range of the audio to the available range). So it should not introduce anything into the signal that wasn't there to begin with.

    Has anyone had any trouble playing this stuff in iTunes?