HARTMANN Concerto funebre

“Crisply and incisively argued … musicianship of the highest order” --International Record Review

“…the Concerto funebre for violin and strings has established itself as Karl Amadeus Hartmann's most familiar work…the way in which the Britten Sinfonia support and enfold their young soloist's beautifully nuanced and textured playing is a model of close-knit ensemble playing, and the natural, detailed sound picture captures all of that give and take.” --BBC Music Magazine, September 2007 ****

“It is such an obvious idea to combine Hartmann's Concerto funebre (1939, rev 1959) with the four unaccompanied works from 1927 that it's surprising that no company has thought of it before now. The Suites and Sonatas are not well known, not even being performed until the mid-1980s. Hartmann composed them while still a student with his mature style some years away, yet their muscularity, contrapuntal and harmonic élan and the sense of self-belief they exude show them to be products of a for- midable, free-thinking creator. Ibragimova proves an ideal exponent, her tempi free and elastic (and mostly quite quick). Her fluency and flexibility pay great dividends time and again, as in the First Suite's central Rondo or concluding Ciaconna or the Second Suite's second span, Fliessend. Hyperion's sound-picture is natural.

Ibragimova's fiercely clear-eyed account of the Concerto funebre– alive to the music's expressive demands as well as its dynamic markings – faces stiff competition but need not fear comparison with any of the dozen or so rival accounts. Her technique is formidable to say the least and if marginal preferance is for Isabelle Faust (Harmonia Mundi), Ibragimova is on her shoulder, although Hyperion's couplings and recording quality, to say nothing of the excellent Britten Sinfonia, deserve a share in the plaudits. Recommended.” --Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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