Tatiana Samouli / Boris Brovtsyn / Plamena Mangova

Prokofiev: Complete Violin Sonatas

(CD - Cypres Records #1646)

Review by

Though billed as the Complete Violin Sonatas of Sergey Prokofiev, this disc set is actually much more. Not only does it contain the two canonical sonatas for violin and piano -- the F minor originally written for violin and the D major originally written for flute but arranged by the composed for violin -- and the two canonical sonatas for solo violin or violins -- the D major for one violin and the C major for two violins -- but it also includes all the composer's other chamber works for violin -- the Five Melodies for violin and piano, the Waltz taken from the opera War and Peace, the "Russian Dance" taken from the ballet The Stone Flower, and the not-quite-minute-and-a-half, youthful Scherzo. And, fortunately, the performances are all first-rate. Russian-born violinist Tatiana Samouil and Bulgarian-born pianist Plamena Mangova are superb players on their own. With her clear tone, clean intonation, and consummate technique, Samouil is a wonderful Prokofiev player; with her crisp attack, muscular sonorities, and relentless tempos, Mangova sounds like she was raised on the composer's solo works. Together, their playing is mutually supportive but also mutually challenging. And Russian-born violinist Boris Brovtsyn is equally fine as Samouil's partner in the Two Violin Sonata. Captured in bright but full sound by producer Aline Blondiau for the Belgian label Cypres, this two-disc set may not displace justly acclaimed recordings by David Oistrakh, but it will be an excellent supplement for Oistrakh's recordings.

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