Home  |  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  Audiophile Shows Partner Mags  News       



Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine
Guillaume Lekeu
Violin Sonata in G major
Maurice Ravel
Violin Sonata No. 1 in A major, Op. Posthumous; Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major; Tzigane; Berceuse sur le nom de Gabriel Faure
Alina Ibragimova (violin), Cedric Tiberghien (piano)

Review By Max Westler


  The death of Guillaume Lekeu from typhoid fever at the age of 24 was certainly not as great a loss as the earlier premature deaths of Mozart and Schubert, but one can't listen to the few important works he managed to leave behind without wondering what he heights he might reached had he only survived. Lekeu was very much a man of his time, a product of the fragrant, hothouse Romanticism that flourished in France in the late Nineteenth Century. A student of Franck, he was championed by D'Indy, befriended by Eugene Ysaye. Like many young composers before him, Lekeu made the obligatory pilgrimage to Bayreuth to worship at the shrine of Wagner; overcome with emotion, he passed out during the Prelude to Tristan and Isolde.

Much like the Franck Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, Lekeu's Sonata in G major is characterized by the cyclic repetition of thematic material. If you're drawn to the music of Franck, D'Indy, and Chausson, you'll feel instantly at home in Lekeu's sound world. The music is atmospheric, moody, and (in the last movement) fiercely dramatic. The big tunes (the opening theme of the central slow movement, for example) are irresistible, and there are many bold turns that keep the listener off guard and fully engaged. A neglected masterpiece, if ever there was one.

Ravel only completed a single movement of his Sonata in A major, a student work he wrote while studying with Gabriel Faure. It is an unashamedly Romantic work with its roots firmly in the Nineteenth Century: one recalls that Ravel too made his own pilgrimage to Bayreuth. The contrast to the Sonata in G major couldn't be starker. Written after the composer's horrific experience in the First World War, the death of his mother, and the onset of serious illness, it is a much more ambiguous, complex work that reflects the composer's late style.

In Ravel's own words, the first movement explores the irreconcilability of two "fundamentally incompatible instruments." The famous second movement is a surprisingly convincing and playful blues, the last a bracing "perpetuum mobile" that features propulsive, buzzsaw runs of uninterrupted sixteenth motes.

The Tzigane was written for Hungarian violinist Jelly D'Aranyi, who first introduced Ravel to gypsy music. It is a brilliant pastiche, simply and breathtakingly virtuosic. The three-minute Berceuse is homage to his teacher, an act of reverent mimicry.

Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien have both established very active and successful solo careers, but this recital suggests that as a duo they're a match made in musical heaven. I'll resist the temptation to exhaust my store of superlatives, and simply say that they play each of these pieces with a youthful ardor, a passionate intensity, and a brilliant virtuosity that bring every moment to vivacious life. As one critic said of a recent live performance, they manage to combine "total abandon and total control." Best of all, they do not overplay the second movement of the G major as too many others tend to do. The "perpetuum mobile" and the Tzigane are both electrifying. And, to all these considerable virtues, you can add Hyperion's magically well-balanced and stunning acoustics. Recently a British critic said of a disc he was reviewing: "Every now and again, a recording comes along that makes you want to dance in the street, handing out copies to complete strangers." Well, that's how I feel about this one. Highly, urgently recommended.





Sound Quality:














































Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews


Our Featured Videos


Show Reports
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
HIGH END Munich 2023
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
AXPONA 2023 Show Report
...More Show Reports


Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty



Industry & Music News

High-End Premium Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.