Friday, August 3, 2012

Alina Ibragimova - Mozart Concerto No 4, KV 218

While I was away in Portugal swimming in the cool, clear waters of the Atlantic, Boom, bless him, recorded this performance which he duly handed on to me to add to the little treasure trove of Alina Ibragimova's recordings here. 

I always think it's a pity that Mozart stopped writing violin concertos at the point where he was coming into his own as a composer. Aside from the sublime Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, the works show invention and promise but remain a preface to an unwritten chapter. And I detest the way many violinists play them, complete with performing monkey cadenzas. Listen to the simplicity and grace of the cadenzas Mozart wrote for the sinfonia concertante and cringe, oh fiddlers! 

I'm delighted to say that Ibragimova seems, to me, to strike many of the right balances in this performance. The playing is integrated into the orchestra, more like hearing a concert master than a Renowned International Soloist. The sound world has the cleanness that Mozart needs (there's nothing like a yawing vibrato to kill the music stone dead) and the cadenzas are not, as is usual, places where the music stops but the soloist continues. But above all, it's the grace of the playing that captivated me. It dances, muses, comments, weaves in and out of the orchestra rather than riding over it. 

As you might expect from Boom, this is also a splendid recording, made in Bremen on April the 6th, 2011. The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen is conducted by Paavo Järvi. The audio has been tagged and tracked but at no point re-encoded either by Boom or myself.

Enjoy. And do read Boom's latest entry. I chortled my way through it.

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  1. Hi, Ronan, a concert with Alina A tonight on WDR:

    1. Ronan,
      I just noticed Discobole's tip, so if you did not do it yourself, here it is.

      The whole unedited WDR3 broadcast from last tuesday. The stream is at 256 kbps, which assures an acceptable sound quality though with the usual overemphasis on high tones. A warning, WDR3 feeds tend to suffer data losses audible as sound glitches in the recording. Before the summer things could be pretty annoying (like popping popcorn), now they have improved but there are still more or less occasional ones (worse concentration during Bach's chaconne between 37-40 minutes within the broadcast).
      Data on the concert are included in a separate file:

      Hope you'll enjoy it,

    2. Piero - many thanks!! It's been a tough time here, and I didn't manage to record the programme, so I am really grateful to you for capturing it.


    3. No thanks needed, they only bring you more. I remember that when you started this blog you put up some broadcasts of Patricia Kopatchinskaja. As WDR3 live broadcasted her performance of Hartmann's Concerto funebre last Friday, I thought of contributing something to that first interest (internet stream was fine, probably less listeners interested in XXc music). I do not know whether you like the concerto, it however appears to have become somewhat of a favorite among younger violinists, with CD recordings by both I. Faust (I know she is no more that young, but that's how labels stick, and anyway, she was when she recorded it) and A. Ibragimova. As a quasi-unconditional admirer of ms Ibragimova I also added her live performance of the same piece from a concert recorded in Amsterdam in January last year.


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