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Discussion: Prokofiev: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2 - Fumiaki Miura, Itamar Golan

Posts: 4

Post by hiredfox July 4, 2011 (1 of 4)
"Fumiaki Miura did not only win the First Prize of the Hannover Violin-Competition – he also won the Music Critics’ Prize and the Audience Prize of the 2009 competition and is therefore not only the youngest Winner in the history of the Competition, but also the one with the most prizes".** This excerpt from his promotional CV tells much of what you need to know.

This kid is only 18 years old for pity's sake, yet plays like an angel with dexterity and verve and a range sometimes way beyond the grasp of some far more famous fiddlers. I was simply gobsmacked!

We are all aware of the hyperbole of Publicity Agents who seem able to inflict as much pain as benefit on their clients. The Lang Lang 'phenomenon' is still fresh in most memories. Undoubtedly good, this watcher never quite detected the unique virtuosic brilliance of which he was often said to be possessed. Great pianist, undoubtedly; great entertainer, certainly.

So' Caveat Emptor... but this latest 'boy wonder' seems on first hearing to be in possession of a rather special talent. His rendition of the First Sonata left me open mouthed in wonderment, the second perhaps slightly less so but No 2 was always a less inspired and less demanding work IMO

Sony Japan know what they are doing here alright, a cracker of a disc recorded in DSD so brilliantly that these guys are there with you in the room. A triumph for Sony on three counts, signing up this wunderkind, finding a really difficult work for him to express his brilliance and demonstrating that DSD/SACD is surely here to stay as the de facto high fidelity benchmark for the foreseeable future.

Thank you Sony. The best SACD yet? Only you can decide that of course.

**
http://www.kdschmid.de/en/Kuenstler/Miura.php

Post by zeus July 21, 2014 (2 of 4)
I just got the new Hyperion recording of these sonatas with Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne after reading the review in Gramophone where it was awarded Record of the Month. I don't regret my purchase but I don't think it's a patch on this Miura / Golan performance. The Ibragimova / Osborne is nicely introspective (and with fine sound) but misses out on the alternating ferocity and lyricism that is Prokofiev as I want to hear him. These are such fine pieces (especially Sonata No. 1) I may also go for the Gluzman and Tsinman. Has anybody done a comparative listen?

Post by Chris from Lafayette July 21, 2014 (3 of 4)
zeus said:

I just got the new Hyperion recording of these sonatas with Alina Ibragimova and Steven Osborne after reading the review in Gramophone where it was awarded Record of the Month. I don't regret my purchase but I don't think it's a patch on this Miura / Golan performance. The Ibragimova / Osborne is nicely introspective (and with fine sound) but misses out on the alternating ferocity and lyricism that is Prokofiev as I want to hear him. These are such fine pieces (especially Sonata No. 1) I may also go for the Gluzman and Tsinman. Has anybody done a comparative listen?

Stephen - I was wondering if you obtained the Ibragimova/Osborne album via plain old CD or via the (two-channel) 24/96 download available at the Hyperion site? I have the latter and I must say that it sounds tremendous to me. One thing I like about this recording (as well as about the Ibragimova/Tiberghien Schubert set released last summer) is the realistic balance between violin and piano - which means that the violin may occasionally be just a bit swamped, just as one hears at many violin/piano concerts (depending of course on repertoire, acoustics, etc.) - and I'm wondering if your impression of the missing ferocity is partly the result of what I would call the realistic balance obtained by the engineers here.

If one is confining discussion to the First Sonata, another contender (available on hi-rez only via 24/96 download) is the Janine Jansen recording, and JJ has the same pianist (Itamar Golan) that Miura does. (He's a great pianist BTW!) As I mentioned on another site, I would be hard pressed to choose between Jansen and Ibrigimova in this work. Now I guess I'll have to check out Miura too! ;-)

Haven't heard Gluzman yet - I'm waiting for eClassical to offer multi-channel downloads, the availability of which (I've been assured by e-mail) will be occurring very soon.

Post by zeus July 21, 2014 (4 of 4)
Chris from Lafayette said:

Stephen - I was wondering if you obtained the Ibragimova/Osborne album via plain old CD or via the (two-channel) 24/96 download available at the Hyperion site?

I got it from Qobuz where it's currently on special:

http://www.qobuz.com/fr-fr/album/prokofiev-sonates-pour-violon-5-melodies-alina-ibragimova-steven-osborne/0034571175140

(Here's a tip for Qobuz users. Add titles that interest you to your favourites (Ajouter aux favoris) and wait for them to come on special. The price in Mes favoris will then be shown in red. I use their Hi-Fi Classique streaming subscription extensively (along with reviews etc) to decide what goes on this wish list.)

The Ibragimova definitely needs more volume. The disappointment to me is that she glosses over the important lyricism towards the end of the 1st. The whole tension/release thing. As I said, I'm not disappointed in my purchase, but it's a very contrasting reading to the Miura / Golan. I now have the Gluzman in FLAC on my iPhone (thanks to the streaming above) and will listen to this in a few days to decide whether it's worthwhile getting this as well. As for the Tsinman, I've rarely been disappointed in my Caro Mitis purchases. We're spoilt for choices here.

Closed