Saturday, December 7, 2013

Alina Ibragimova plays Bernd Alois Zimmermann's violin concerto (1950)

I am always apprehensive when performers start to become famous. It seems that their room for manoeuvre in terms of repertoire is inevitably constricted. I groan inwardly every time I see another Hélène Grimaud concert – same couple of concertos more or less endlessly. I suppose that when you start playing big venues, they have to sell a lot of tickets to people who don't want to hear a new piece of music unless they've heard it before. 

Well, Alina Ibragimova is still not quite embedded in the Mozart/Mendelssohn/Beethoven/Brahms circuit. Here she is playing the violin concerto by Bernd Alois Zimmerman (1918-1970), a gritty, hard-driven work that nevertheless rewards the soloist by alternating grittiness with a  sort of bleak lyricism. Kind of like trying to have a romance in Berlin. Indeed, in comparison with any of his works I know, this is the sweet side of Zimmermann. 

mp3 256 kbs


  1. I haven't heard Zimmerman's Violin Concerto for longer than I can remember. I have it on an old Vox/Candide recording from somewhere around 1970, paired with Henze's first violin concerto, but I have no turntable at the moment. I look forward to hearing both it and a performer with whom I am not familiar. Many thanks.


    1. I think any visitor here knows how highly I regard Ibragimova. Enjoy!

  2. May I take this opportunity to wish you a very enjoyable Festive Season and I hope that you will enjoy good health and happiness in 2014.

    Thank you for bringing much pleasure to me during 2013 from your kindness in uploading such enjoyable music - much of which has extended my “musical education”.

    Happy Holidays,

    Boa Festes,

    Feliz Navidad,

    Bonne vacances,

    Frohe Festtage,

    Buone Feste,


    Douglas (UK)

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  4. It took me a while to get around to this; let's just say I wasn't too excited for the Zimmermann Concerto. But finally last night I listened. Wow!! Many, man, many thanks!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this!

    Who are the orchestra and conductor? When was it recorded?

    Is it the same as this?

  6. On 30 Aug the BBC Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert included Ibragimova playing the JS Bach A Minor concerto with Arcangelo. I found this!/story/arcangelo/ which includes the whole concert. The second item was JC Bach "Mein Freund ist mien" in which she plays the ravishing violin obligato. She's in baroque mode and it reminded me of her equally wonderful Biber Passacaglia.