Alina Ibragimova - Reviews


"...they respond to the enhanced emotional range of NO. 27 K379 and No33 K.481 with such graceful sensitivity that and micro-inflected insight that at the point of contact it is difficult to imagine them better played." - Mozart Violin Sonatas CD review, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, June 2016

"Highlights include Ibragimova’s tone as she blossoms into the major-key slow theme in the adagio of K481, and Tiberghien’s echoey, bell‑like episode in the Sonata, K14; but there is something to raise a smile in every single movement." - Mozart Violin Sonatas CD review, THE GUARDIAN, May 26, 2016

"...it would be hard to imagine more persuasive performances than we have here from the ever-rewarding Tiberghien-Ibragimova duo: delicate without feyness, rhythmically buoyant..." - Mozart Violin Sonatas CD review, GRAMOPHONE, May 2016

"In Bartók’s turbulent Violin Concerto No 2, Alina Ibragimova gave a solo performance of powerful and unflagging intensity." - Bartók's Violin Concert No 2, THE GUARDIAN, May 22, 2016

"Alina Ibragimova... ...proved herself fearless as well as deeply sensitive in this work." - Hartmann's "Concerto funebre" for violin and strings, and Haydn's C-major violin concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, THE BOSTON MUSICAL INTELLIGENCER, February 19, 2016

"The slow movement has a lyrical inwardness rare in the composer’s early works, and Ibragimova’s faultlessly elegant playing captured it adroitly." - Hartmann's "Concerto funebre" for violin and strings, and Haydn's C-major violin concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, BOSTON GLOBE, February 19, 2016

“Ibragimova gave us a highly physical account, yet not without its oases of deep reflection. Here there was poignancy as well as Mendelssohn‘s specified passion, and conductor Edward Gardner empathised totally, relishing the diverse character of the period woodwind instruments, not least in Ibragimova‘s smilingly busy finale. What a joy this was.“   - Mendelssohn Violin Concerto at Cheltemham Festival, BIRMINGHAM POST, July 13, 2015

“She gives full value to the sonatas’ varied expressive character, their virtuosity, and the imaginative and poetic way Ysaÿe wrote for his instrument. And she makes the music sound quite beautiful: we never feel the medium of unaccompanied violin is at all limiting; the sonatas speak to us unimpeded, without any sense of strain.“   - CD: Ysaÿe Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, GRAMOPHONE, June 20, 2015

“Together, the sonatas form a freewheeling ride to the limits of violin technique, often recalling Bach but more often not. Alina Ibragimova is a superb advocate; nothing here sounds like a mere showpiece, and her performances brim with lyricism and wit.“   -CD: Ysaÿe Solo Violin Sonatas, THE GUARDIAN, May 28, 2015

“Ibragimova’s ability to apply a light brushing effect to short notes and phrases, and to bring a far firmer approach to longer ones. Her response at every moment, however, was so in tune with the disparate demands of the piece that the result felt highly coherent. The level of accentuation across each phrase was always perfect, and while Ibragimova is generally known for her restrained use of vibrato, there were sufficient amounts applied here. This revealed how she was responding to the piece rather than forcing it to conform to any particular style of playing.“   - 6 Mozart violin sonatas at Wigmore Hall, MUSIC OMH, April 30, 2015

“Playing assertively and exploring both the softest and loudest extremes of the violin, Ibragimova brought her native Russian temperament to the concerto... Ibragimova showed a completely different side of her personality with her encore, a Bach sarabande. Here, she was all sweetness and restraint. It was lovely.“   - Sibelius Violin Concerto w/ Cleveland Orchestra, CLEVELAND CLASSICAL, February 17, 2015

“Her tone is smooth and even seductive... Ibragimova is much more the Burgundy type—subtle, suave, and slowly revealing. I’d better stop before I get too thirsty, but don’t you stop from acquiring this fine disc, especially if your collection is absent of these mandatory sonatas.“   - CD: Prokofiev w/ Steven Osborne, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, August 25, 2014

“It’s interesting to compare Ibragimova and Osborne with Kremer and Argerich (DG). While the latter is a magnificent partnership by any standards, and the playing has a tremendous energy, panache and technical assurance, I get a feeling of even greater involvement and excitement from the new Hyperion disc. One reason is the care taken over detailed observation of phrasing, rhythm and dynamics—all beautifully managed by Ibragimova and Osborne.“   - CD: Prokofiev w/ Steven Osborne, INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW, August 1, 2014

“Recording of the Month... it is the personality and voice of Prokofiev that shine through in Ibragimova and Osborne’s playing, with the traits that lend both sonatas their individuality of expression securely enshrined, defined and projected.“   - CD: Prokofiev w/ Steven Osborne, GRAMOPHONE, July 30, 2014

“Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne‘s performances of Prokofiev‘s Violin Sonatas have a real strength of character... The shifting kaleidoscopes in the piano part and the subtle vocal inflections of the violin are qualities that also imbue Ibragimova’s and Osborne’s interpretations of the two sonatas.“   - CD: Prokofiev‘s Violin Sonatas w/ pianist Steven Osborne, THE TELEGRAPH, July 4, 2014

“Her febrile manner still finds a lively outlet in repertoire stamped with the skittish, the sardonic, the bittersweet and other Prokofiev hallmarks... Prokofiev and Ibragimova wouldn’t be Prokofiev and Ibragimova if they didn’t leave you in a tizzy, unsure whether to laugh or cry.”   - CD: Prokofiev w/ Steven Osborne, THE TIMES, June 27, 2014

“Ibragimova was in eloquent command of the music, playing with sumptuous tone, and catching the optimum balance of gravitas and grace.“   - Schumann Violin Concerto w/ London Symphony, THE GUARDIAN, March 25, 2014

“This is a consciously virtuoso work full of confidence and flamboyance with both violinist and pianist in their elements. This set is a revelation. Buy it!“   - Schubert: Complete Work for Violin and Piano, LIMELIGHT, October 10, 2013

“An entirely suave, often brilliant display of salon and virtuoso music for violin and piano by Schubert, seamlessly performed and recorded.“   - Schubert: Complete work for violin and Piano, AUDIOPHILE AUDITION, September 2, 2013

“The duo of violinist Alina Ibragimova and pianist Cédric Tiberghien in Schubert‘s complete violin and piano music is an unbeatable dream-team... Their playing integrates seamlessly the best of the old and the new... Remarkably Ibragimiva and Tiberghien match the creative enrichment with playing that is both more tonally opulent and expressively generous, yet retains its open-air innocence, as in the unashamedly Beethovenian scherzo... It sets the seal on a stunning set of performances that looks set to become the yardstick against which others will invariably be judged.“   - Schubert: Complete Work for Violin and Piano, SINFINI MUSIC, August 14, 2013

“The fruitful artistic partnership between Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien has already yielded Hyperion discs of Ravel and Szymanowski... Ibragimova and Tiberghien adopt an intimate, gently expressive manner in the early sonatas, though it can still possess rhythmic gusto...“   - Schubert: Complete Work for Violin and Piano, THE TELEGRAPH, July 25, 2013

“One of the biggest joys of the London concert scene in recent years has been the opening up of the musical world of Alina Ibragimova, a world that seems to know no bounds. Each successive performance turns into a voyage of discovery, in which the Russian-born, UK-resident violinist stretches herself and surprises us.“   - Alina Ibragimova & Steven Osborne, Goldsmiths‘ Hall, FINANCIAL TIMES, July 10, 2013

“Alina Ibragimova is one of the most richly talented and expressive of violinists; in every performance, she instinctively finds the essence of the music and delivers it with a combination of grace and daring.“   - St. David‘s Hall, Cardiff, THE GUARDIAN, July 1, 2013

“From its gently murmuring opening to the virtuosity of the concluding Presto this was an undoubtedly stunning performance, not only for the brilliance of Ibragimova’s bowing and stupendous finger work, and Tiberghien’s immaculately manicured passage-work, but its breathtaking clarity of texture and musical integrity, with every note and phrase perfectly judged and proportioned.“   - Barber Institute, Birmingham University w/ Cedric Tiberghien, BIRMINGHAM POST, February 8, 2013

“Ibragimova played the Sonata that followed with easy grace, but dug deep in the ambitious modulations, well articulated by an alert Tiberghien, that make this teenage composition such a fully rounded work.“   - A Schubert Night w/ Cedric Tiberghien, Wigmore Hall, THE GUARDIAN, February 1, 2013

Alina Ibragimova is not a violinist who ducks a challenge... It confirmed what those who have heard her 2009 recording already know: that she is one of today‘s outstanding interpreters of the most elemental music in the repertoire.   - Wigmore Hall, THE GUARDIAN, October 26, 2012

“Ibragimova spun out the long melodies of the outer movements with grace, patience and eloquence.“   - Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer, Prokofiev Cto. #1, THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, September 21, 2012

"Ibragimova is surely the most searching and intelligent of the current crop of 20-something violinists."   - Wigmore Hall recital, leading the Academy of Ancient Music from the violin, THE TELEGRAPH, March 1, 2012

"Four notes. That's all it took for Alina Ibragimova to entrance her audience in the first of Bath's Bachfestconcerts, the new heir to the city's former Bath Bach Festival. As she began to play, there was an instant, magical hush in the audience; the glitter of the glass chandeliers seemed to blur into the background. By the end of the fiendish solo violin piece, it scarcely seemed surprising that one audience member uttered a breathless but clearly audible 'wow'."   - Bach Fest, leading the Academy of Ancient Music from the violin, BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE, March 1, 2012

"Making her debut as soloist/director with the AAM, Ibragimova's serene demeanour as always belied her cast-iron technique and her unerring ability to bring a freshness and spontaneity to the music. Comparing Bach's concertos with those of Vivaldi and offering Heinrich Biber as their starting point made for a revelatory sequence."   - Bach Fest, leading the Academy of Ancient Music from the violin, THE GUARDIAN, February 26, 2012

"Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien have become today's partnership of choice for violin and piano repertory."   - Ravel: Complete Music for Violin and Piano review, THE GUARDIAN, October 13, 2011

"Ibragimova's Tzigane is one of the best on disc - the fireworks are astonishing, but there's a lot of impish fun as well ... Ibragimova is happiest in the mature Sonata No 2, where the central Blues movement really struts and glitters. Every slide and smear is perfectly realized, aided by Cédric Tiberghien's steel-plated accompaniment."   - Ravel: Complete Music for Violin and Piano review, THE ARTS DESK, October 8, 2011

"The instinctive artistic collaboration between Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien that has been so evident in their recordings of the Beethoven violin sonatas and another one of Szymanowski, is again brought to the fore in this perceptive and magically played programme of French chamber music."   - CD Review, Ravel: Complete Music for Violin & Piano, THE TELEGRAPH, September 15, 2011

"The Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova boasts a dark, throaty string tone reminiscent of a viola, and she phrases Ravel's music with a superb blend of clarity and sensual restraint; the crisper and more forthright playing of French pianist Cédric Tiberghien makes a perfect counterpart."   - Ravel "Music for Violin and Piano" CD Review, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, September 11, 2011

"Ibragimova isn't just an intelligent musician with an adventurous mind; she positively oozes music. Her technical finesse enables her to make a beautiful sound in Bach with no vibrato, while her sense of fantasy shapes the Chaconne's desperate poetry into a marvel as psychologically probing as the Bartók and as vivid as a film in its own right. Ever wondered why great musicians are called 'artists'? Here's the proof."   - Quay Brothers Collaboration at Barbican "Blaze" Festival, THE INDEPENDENT, July 26, 2011

"It feels as if the final component in the continuum that links Biber to Berio; and though Ibragimova possesses a range of technique to cover all styles from the baroque to the present day, her unique asset is the priceless ability to make time stand still."   - Special Bach, Biber, Berio, Bartok program with the Brothers Quay, THE GUARDIAN, July 6, 2011

"The brilliant young violinist Alina Ibragimova gave a fantastically impassioned yet controlled performance in the Chetham's Library at the Manchester International Festival."   - Special Bach, Biber, Berio, Bartok program with the Brothers Quay, THE TELEGRAPH, July 4, 2011

"[Mahler 7] was preceded by an equally wonderful performance of Mozart's Fourth Violin Concerto, with Alina Ibragimova as soloist. A poised, aristocratic performer, she has a breathtaking ability to think in terms of span as well as detail, so that every movement seemed at once immaculately controlled yet perfectly natural."   - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with Vassily Petrenko, THE GUARDIAN, May 27, 2011

"The Russian-born Ibragimova (b 1985) has no musical inhibitions, and brings period and contemporary performance knowledge to her nimble, lucid playing."   - CD Review, Beethoven Violin Sonatas Vol. 3, Live at Wigmore Hall, THE OBSERVER, April 24, 2011