Last night, 25 July, we heard a private rental last night by violinist Alina Ibragimova and pianist Cedric Tiberghien. They are coming to the end of a run of performances of Schubert's music for violin and piano, prior to going into the recording studio.
Though Schubert's first instrument was the violin, he didn't write extensively for the instrument on its own or in duo. Of his violin sontatas the first three were actually published as sonatinas. The fourth, the violin sonata in A major, D574 is quite a compact work, though Schubert is alert to the conversational possibilities of the duo.
Last night, Ibragimova and Tiberghien gave us D574 alongside two rather bigger, trickier pieces written nine years after D574. The Rondo Brilliant D895 and the Fantasie D934 make considerable technical demands. Ones to which Ibragimova and Tiberghien rose quite brilliantly. One of the joys of this music is that Schubert devotes as much interest to the piano as to the violin and Tiberghien showed himself a brilliant and inspiring technician as well as a sympathetic accompanist. As for Ibragimova's amazing playing, I can do no better than quote the Times, who said that she performs with 'a mixture of total abandonment and total control that is in no way contradictory' and that is 'destined to be a force in the classical music firmament for decades to come'
I look forward to the duo's Schubert disc with interest.