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GRAMOPHONE AWARDS SHORTLIST 2019

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Lars Vogt, Tanja Tetzlaff and Christian Tetzlaff display virtuosity that is entirely at the service of Dvořák’s music austere grief of the opening movement with understated wit in the Sérénade and nervous energy in the finale. Tanguy de Williencourt, meanwhile, binds the disc together with the four piano pieces, played with admirable restraint and quiet, if unsparing intensity. Listen to it in a single sitting, and in the right playing order: it’s extraordinarily moving. Tim Ashley (11/18)

Dvořák Piano Trios – No 3, Op 65 B130; No 4, ‘Dumky’, Op 90 B166 Christian Tetzlaff vn Tanja Tetzlaff vc Lars Vogt pf Ondine F ODE1316-2 (73’ • DDD)

With some discs, the very first notes tell you to expect something special. Christian and

Tanja Tetzlaff sing softly together in the quietness at the start of Dvo∑ák’s noble F minor Piano Trio (No 3) – cello and violin in equipoise, and proving with the very first dotted rhythm that they think and feel together too. Enter Lars Vogt on piano, and in that first surge he supports and carries his colleagues upwards: establishing, in barely eight bars of music, both the intimacy and assurance of these players’ partnership, and the magnificent sweep and expressive scope of what is to come.

I’m no fan of ‘all star’ chamber music projects but the virtuosity here is entirely at the service of the music, capturing the full symphonic grandeur of Dvo∑ák’s vision without ever sounding like anyone is playing for effect. It’s always chamber music, and it’s helped by Ondine’s lifelike acoustic, against which the focus and refinement of the Tetzlaffs’ palette is never at any risk from Vogt’s expressive generosity (in the booklet note, he compares the Trio of the second movement to Rachmaninov – and he certainly delivers).

Grandiose when they need to be, the trio find moment after treasurable moment of subtly shaded tone colour (even Christian’s pizzicatos sound tender) – and you can imagine how that translates into the kaleidoscopic folk-fantasy of the Dumky. Staccato piano chimes its way over fading cello drones; melting violin lines float over translucent keyboard textures; the transitions are delicious; and of course, when the dances really start to fly, these players commit absolutely, without any loss of finesse. This disc sounds, and feels, like a recording born of love, and I urge you to listen. Richard Bratby (12/18)

Franck . Vierne . Boulanger . Ysaÿe Boulanger Nocturne Franck Violin Sonata Vierne Violin Sonata, Op 23 Ysaÿe Poème élégiaque, Op 12

Alina Ibragimova vn Cédric Tiberghien pf Hyperion F CDA68204 (78’ • DDD)

While we’re not short of top-drawer recordings of Franck’s Violin

Sonata, I’m still not sure whether I’ve ever encountered it sitting within such a musically and musicologically tempting programme as this one from Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien. Not, I might add, that the Franck Sonata should necessarily be seen as the main event here, despite its fame. Au contraire, one of the chief draws is the way it sits in equal balance within the whole, each work informing and being informed by its neighbours.

To deal first with the programming, all paths (or almost all paths) lead back to the great French violinist Eugène Ysaÿe: his Poème élégiaque of 1892, based on the tomb scene of Romeo and Juliet, followed by the Franck Sonata, which was a wedding present to him in 1886, and the 1908 Violin Sonata he commissioned from Franck’s fellow organist-composer Louis Vierne. Then a final petit four in the form of Lili Boulanger’s Nocturne, written only three years after the Vierne but ushering in a new era with its slightly leaner aesthetic and its final gramophone.co.uk gramophone.co.uk

GRAMOPHONE SHORTLIST 2019 5

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