Thursday, 25 October 2012

Bach Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin

Just back from one of my regular haunts - the Wigmore Hall - where violinist Alina Ibragimova was playing Bach's Sonatas and Partitas as a late replacement programme.  I took my friend Nick, who has been away in Denmark for the last four years and hasn't heard her play before.

I on the other hand have been to quite a lot of her concerts this year:
  • 1st October - with her Chiaroscuro Quartet at Bob Boas's house in Marylebone playing Mozart string quartets in D Minor and D Major
  • 25th July and 1st August 2012 - with Cédric Tiberghien at Vernon Ellis's 49 Queen's Gate Terrace playing Schubert works for violin and piano
  • 28th June at the Mansion House with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in E Minor
  • 28th April - with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican playing Arvo Pärt's Tabula Rasa
  • 29th February leading the Academy of Ancient Music at the Wigmore Hall playing Biber, Bach and Vivaldi 
At the interval Nick said "she's a bit of a superstar, isn't she?"

I've heard Alina play the Sonatas and Partitas before.  Every time it's a revelation.  She has the ability to portray profound emotion through what in theory is quite unromantic music, showing the Sonatas and Partitas, and particularly Partita No.2 in D Minor, to be one of the pinnacles of achievement in Western Civilisation.

First Sonata for Solo Violin: Adagio (Autograph 1720)

I won't go on any more because I am conscious I am sounding a bit obsessive!

As a footnote, was a guest of the Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican for their 20th birthday concert on 27th  October, which included the Bach Concerto for two violins, strings and continuo in D.Minor.  The violinists were Alina Ibragimova and Pekka Kuusisto.  Very good interplay between the violins, and altogether a very happy concert - amongst other things on the programme was Joanna MacGregor settings of Louis 'Moondog' Harding.  No, me neither, but here's the link to some info.

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