BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE
Franck, Janácek,Grieg: Violin Sonatas
Franck: Violin Sonata in A; Janácek: Violin Sonata; Grieg: Violin Sonata No. 2 in G, Op. 13
Vadim Repin (violin), Nikolai Lugansky (piano)
While under exclusive contract to Warner, Vadim Repin produced several outstanding sonata discs with Boris Berezovsky. Now signed up to DG, he appears to have changed pianist, though the partnership with the equally formidable Nikolai Lugansky is actually quite long-standing, the duo having frequently appeared together in recitals.
The obvious empathy that exists between these two artists, coupled with the invaluable experience garnered from playing together over many years, brings enormous dividends to this warmly recorded programme.
It’s so easy to become complacent in such a well-worn work as the Franck. But Repin and Lugansky overcome any hint of routine, delivering a relatively straightforward account that is sparing in its use of rubato and avoids any excessive indulgence.
I particularly admire the purity with which they approach the first movement and the almost childlike simplicity found in the phrasing of the opening melody of the Allegretto poco mosso, here delivered at an almost ideal tempo.
These qualities prepare one far more effectively for the searing intensity that is to follow both in the passionate second movement and in the climaxes of the Finale.
In comparison to the relatively restrained view of the Franck, Repin and Lugansky deliver an almost expressionist account of the Janácek exploiting every nervous tick in the music to the nth degree but without ever sacrificing precision and unanimity of ensemble.
After this emotionally draining experience, the Grieg provides welcome relief. Repin and Lugansky bring freshness to the outer movements whilst investing the central movement with great affection. Superb. Erik Levi
Running Time: 126:46 mins Label: DG
DG 477 8794
BBC Music Magazine
BBC Music Awards 2011
Classic FM Magazine
“Repin’s and Lugansky’s subtlety of expression is a major factor in making this so outstanding, so ravishing and so spine-tingling. Both musicians give of their utmost and, when the musicians in question are Repin and Lugansky, that makes for something exceptional.” The Telegraph, 15th October 2010 *****
“The obvious empathy that exists between these two artists...brings enormous dividends to this warmly recorded programme. It's so easy to become complacent in such a well-worn work as the Franck. But Repin and Lugansky overcome any hint of routine...Superb.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2010 *****
“The Franck is discursive and lingering, but Repin and Lugansky plot a lucid pathway through its labyrinth of interlocking, dovetailing themes...in the finale [of the Grieg] Repin's pinhead-subtle expressive slides between notes is delightful...Repin and Lugansky match ardent physicality with rare musical intelligence.” Classic FM Magazine, December 2010 *****
“As presented by Vadim Repin and Nikolai Lugansky, Janáček's Violin Sonata becomes unambiguously a late-romantic work, almost overfilled with emotion, and milked for every bit of its expressive...The playing and the sense of ensemble are both magnificent...[In the first movement of the Franck] their playing has much more refinement and a sense of light and shade” The Guardian, 2nd December 2010 ***
“This is one of the finest performances I have ever heard of the Janacek, played with breathtaking conviction and an utterly persuasive grasp of Janacek's idiom...Their new disc is worth getting for this performance of the Janacek alone, but the rest is every bit as impressive” International Record Review, December 2010
“it's impossible not to respond to this vital, wholehearted playing” Gramophone Magazine, March 2011