My album of the week on sinfinimusic.com is a rare five-star.
It’s a set of the six Ysaye sonatas by the UK-Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova who, in my view, imposes herself on the sonatas with an authority that is arrestingly quiet. I cannot recall any artist who keeps the level down with such fierce determination, avoiding the temptation of a flashy trill in favour of maximum concentration….
Her playing is of unerring and at times unearthly accuracy, yet the effect she projects is totally warm and compassionate; of sympathy for the human condition. Among the 20-odd recordings of the complete sonatas, this becomes immediately my preferred choice.
Read the full review here.
Here is what Alina is up against by way of past recordings:
Ruggiero Ricci, 1974, Candide
Gidon Kremer, 1976, VMI
Charles Castleman, 1981, Music & Arts
Oscar Shumsky, 1982, Nimbus
Lydia Mordkovitch, 1988, Chandos
Yuval Yaron, 1990, Accord
Evgenia-Maria Popova, 1991, Leman
Mateja Marinkovic, 1992, Collins
Vilmos Szabadi, 1992, Hungaroton
Stéphane Tran Ngoc, 1994, REM
Frank Peter Zimmermann, 1994, EMI
Tomoko Kato, 1995, Denon
Vincenzo Bolognese, 1997, Arts
Philippe Graffin, 1997, Hyperion
Takayoshi Wanami, 1997, Somm
Leonidas Kavakos, 1999, BIS
Hana Kotková, 2002, Forlane
Thomas Zehetmair, 2004, ECM
Rachel Kolly D’Alba, 2010, Warner
Judith Ingolfssohn, 2011, Genuin
Tai Murray, 2012, Harmonia Mundi
Krystof Barati, 2013, Brilliant
Tianwa Yang, 2014, Naxos
(main source: Peter Wilson, violinist.com)