Classical, October 2020

Violin Concertos Nos 1 and 2
Alina Ibragimova, State Academic SO Russia 'Evgeny Svetlanov'/Vladimir Jurowski
Hyperion CDA 68313 (downloads to 96kHz/24-bit resolution)

In 2011 the violinist and conductor recorded the two Mendelssohn Concertos together with the OAE, while for this coupling Jurowski suggested his Moscow Orchestra. Two venues were involved and in No 1, after the demanding cadenza, Ibragimova has opted to revert to the original soloist's opening of the Burlesque finale – Oistrakh had requested a brief respite, and Shostakovich complied. Light-toned and alert to every detail (not unlike the Mullova/Philips) she is perfectly integrated with Jurowski's powerful accompaniment. The later work is less public, maybe an Oistrakh 'portrait', and emerges strongly here. Fine sound too. CB


Serenade in C minor, K388
Ensemble Marsyas/Peter Whelan
Linn CKD (downloads to 192kHz/24-bit resolution)

Bassoonist Peter Whelan formed this flexible period instrument group in 2011 to reflect his passion for neglected 18th century repertoire – not that K388 falls into this category! Here, he's added double-bass to Mozart's six winds – although not once did I hear it. As the playing time is only 22m, Linn has issued this Edinburgh parish church recording (made last June by Philip Hobbs) as a download only at a low price – albeit with no note on either the instruments used or the music itself. The horns especially make a grand sound in this wholly enjoyable account, with the variations finale a bright highlight. CB


Scheherazade; Capriccio Espagnol;
Russian Easter Festival Overture
Oslo PO/Vasily Petrenko
Lawo Classics LWC1198 (downloads to 96kHz/24-bit resolution)

Petrenko recorded these three popular pieces last May at the Oslo Concert Hall after giving concert performances of the two longer works. The violin solos here are all engagingly taken by the leader, Elise Båtnes. The disc starts briskly with the two Capriccio 'Alboradas', though the sandwiched 'Variazione' is perhaps a little slow (identical timings with Petrenko, Jansons and Kondrashin; Markevitch 20s less). Castanets clicking, the finale is played at full tilt, but Petrenko's Scheherazade is curiously lacking in magic. The overture is the most consistent item here. CB


Dinu Lipatti
The complete Columbia recordings, 1947/48 inc.
Bach, Chopin, Grieg, Ravel, Scarlatti, Schumann, etc with Philharmonia/Galliera/Karajan; Antonio Janigro
APR APR6032 (two discs, mono; downloads to 44.1kHz/24-bit res)

An exhaustive booklet note censures Lipatti myths generated by producer Walter Legge – while he died from leukaemia aged 30 he wasn't too weak to tackle long pieces, and projects with Janigro (test discs here include part of Beethoven's Op.69) became shelved. Transfers are from mint 78s, APR seeking to optimise the Steinway sound but allowing a little more disc noise than EMI might have countenanced. The playing here, unique in character, reconfirms Lipatti as a musician with a mercurial technique and consummate taste. The Grieg Piano Concerto is surely unsurpassed! CB