Alina Ibragimova / Cédric Tiberghien

Brahms: Violin Sonatas

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Violinist Alina Ibragimova and pianist Cédric Tiberghien have been consistently successful in the duo sonata repertory. They certainly have competition in Brahms' three, all of which date from the later phases of the composer's career. There are various ways to take them, and what's done here by Ibragimova may not accord with what you'd imagine hearing from Joseph Joachim or one of the other virtuosos of Brahms' time. Ibragimova and Tiberghien offer a quiet reading, and you may find it much to your taste. The motivic work in these sonatas is among the most intricate anywhere in Brahms, and the performers are sensitive to it. Sample the opening movement of the Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100, where the tentative murmurs of the violin seem unlikely to carry the importance they will eventually develop. Ibragimova captures this pregnant quality beautifully. In many passages, Tiberghien comes to the fore, and the performances all reveal an exquisite, delicate balance between the two players, one honed in quite a few live performances of the music. Highly recommended Brahms to savor and treasure.

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