Zwei außer Rand und Band
Sie beginnt mit schroffen, harschen Klängen und entfaltet sich im weiteren Verlauf zu einem wahren Feuerwerk an violinistischen Kapriolen: So erklingt die einleitende Solokadenz zu Maurice Ravels Tzigane für Violine und Luthéal, einem präparierten Klavier. Ravel ließ sich zu der Komposition durch Zigeunerweisen von Franz Liszt und Johannes Brahms inspirieren und widmete sie 1924 der ungarischen Geigerin Jelly Arányi, die sie am 26. April desselben Jahres in London uraufführte. Seither zählt Tzigane zu den anspruchsvollsten Werken der Violinliteratur und stellt die Interpreten vor immense technische Herausforderungen. Es ist auch die zentrale Komposition des neuen Albums von Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Diese erweist sich als ideale Interpretin für das Stück, was nicht zuletzt an ihrer Biographie liegen mag. In der moldawischen Heimat waren folkloristische Klänge allgegenwärtig, und zusammen mit ihrem Vater, einem Hackbrettvirtuosen, spielte sie diese Musik. Mit Polina Leschenko als kammermusikalische Partnerin kann Kopatchinskaja bereits auf eine umfangreiche gemeinsame Konzerttätigkeit in den großen Sälen der Welt zurückblicken. Dass die beiden ein eingespieltes Team sind, ist auch bei den übrigen Werken der CD zu hören. Neben Tzigane erklingen weitere Stücke von Poulenc, Dohnányi und die zweite Violinsonate von Bela Bartók, die ebenfalls für Jelly Arányi verfasst wurde und die sie zusammen mit dem Komponisten uraufführte. Kopatchinskaja und Leschenko lassen auch hierbei keinerlei Wünsche offen, und so wird die Einspielung unbestritten zu einem Highlight aus dem Hause ALPHA CLASSICS im Frühjahr 2018.
For her third album on Alpha, Patricia Kopatchinskaja is joined by a highly talented pianist whose approach to music is as extremist as hers, Polina Leschenko. Together they explore pieces that have many points in common. The Hungarian violinist Jelly d Arányi, grandniece of Joseph Joachim, was a muse to both Bartók and Ravel. In 1922 and 1923, she premiered the two Bartók sonatas for violin and piano and Ravel dedicated Tzigane to her. He wrote to Bartók: You have convinced me to compose for our friend, who plays so fluently, a little piece whose diabolical difficulty will bring to life the Hungary of my dreams; and since it will be for violin, why don't we call it Tzigane? Of course, Tzigane by Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who has been playing and dancing this music since her childhood in Moldova, does not sound like salon music... After a much-fêted recital at Wigmore Hall in 2017, the Financial Times wrote: In another life, Patricia Kopatchinskaja might have been a rock star. This is a violinist who loves taking risks . . . But the final reward was worth waiting for: a denouement of astonishing force.Debussy's Sonata, with its Arab and Javanese influences, completes this voyage, along with a piece for piano solo by Dohnányi,the Valse Coppélia after Léo Delibes, another symbol of the relations between France and Hungary.
In the moments before pressing play on any new recording from Patricia Kopatchinskaja, the only thing you can be absolutely certain of is that you are about to hear something brimming with personality, individuality and panache; in fact sometimes so much personality that a quick glance at the score is in order, simply to establish exactly what the ratio of Kopatchinskaja versus composer-inquestion actually is.
Deux is no exception to this rule, which I say with unreserved admiration, because every reading here works like a dream; no doubt in part because the three main works Hungarian folk roots are a perfect partner to her own Moldovan folk heritage. I'm also thrilled to see the notes highlight the two female violinists connected to these works: Jelly d Arányi, dedicatee of both Ravel's Tzigane and Bartok's two violin sonatas, and the French prodigy-turnedadult-star Ginette Neveu, who premiered Poulenc's Violin Sonata in 1943.
The Poulenc makes for an explosive disc opener too, its every mood realised to apotheosis-esque degree: nimbly manic and scratchy-textured when first it explodes into life, followed by the slinkiest and gramophone.co.uk flirtiest I've ever heard from its second, lyrical section. More pleasures await in the exquisitely tender Intermezzo, and also in what is a rollicking, often runaway ride of a Tea-for-Two finale. The album isn't called Deux for naught, either, because Leschenko not only matches Kopatchinskaja in every mood and approach but is a thoroughly, deliciously equal partner in the overall balance.
Next up the Bartók, consisting of a quietly dangerous, don't-turn-your-backon-it Molto allegro, followed by an excitingly unpreditable, technically immaculate Allegretto. Then as for Tzigane, well, it ain't subtle, that's for sure, but given that it's hardly smoothly suave, indoors Ravel to start off with, why not untame things further? Particularly when you can do so with such glitteringly perfect technique, intonation and kaleidoscopic colours as Kopatchinskaja can, whether slowly and huskily snaking around her lower registers, dancing like a fleet-footed folk fairy up at the end of her fingerboard or firing off pizzicato clusters reminiscent of popping candy. Leschenko's entry warrants special mention too, because it's electric stuff: hypnotically rhythmic, and with a smartly ringing, luminous touch that brings the piano deliciously close to the cimbalom. Then from the pair of them a wild, thundering, fever-pitched hoedown of a climax.
Add Leschenko's solo turn a swirling, twinkle-toed reading of Dohnányi's Coppélia Waltz arrangement and this album is a properly exciting, life-affirming box of delights. --Gramophone - Charlotte Gardner
Quite why an artist as sharply distinctive as the wild violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja gets such a weak and blurry album cover beats me. Yet once buyers of Deux look past the futile image of Kopatchinskaja and her equally madcap piano partner Polina Leschenko sprinting through spindly greenery, nothing but wonders await. Aside from her bare feet and body gymnastics, the Moldova-born Kopatchinskaja is famous for digging into the strings of her instrument like an old-time prospector desperate for gold. She always finds it too, especially in a repertoire where her Middle European folk roots are a real asset.Hungarian and gypsy rhythms haunt Bartók's mercurial Violin Sonata No 2, here dazzlingly varied in tone colours, although the music-making's more striking still in Ravel's Tzigane. This is dispatched with such furious pluckings, squeakings and slitherings that at the end her bow must have been nothing but wisps and tatters. Leschenko is equally fearsome, rippling through notes with dexterous speed. Surfers may recognise the same sensation while riding the crest of a giant wave.Placed alongside, Poulenc could be thought a bit of a cream-puff composer, but there's iron and fire inside his Violin Sonata, which was written during the French Occupation. Here it's served with an enthralling percussive attack and, where necessary, sensuous calm. And don't forget Leschenko's solo spin through Délibes Coppélia waltz in an old-world transcription crammed with flowery arpeggios. It's the perfect intermission before the pair's gypsy fireworks begin. (Alpha Classics). --Geoff Brown - The Times 5*
Hearing Pat Kop play always feels like up close violin, sometimes uncomfortably so, she never shies away from making unbeautiful sounds if she thinks it helps the music's cause and some of her interpretive decisions are unconventional even confrontational. In pianist Polina Leshcenko she seems to have found a kindred spirit and right from the opening of the Poulenc sonata that begins their new recital I knew they'd grabbed my full attention:
Plays Violin Sonata, 1st mvt: Allegro con fuoco.
Has it ever burned more fiercely than it does in this new recording from Patricia Kopatchinskaja and pianist Polina Leschenko . Fire and Ice: the temperature can fluctuate from extremes. The gentle warmth of the slow movement with the Kop's hushed sound is a potent contrast for the explosively humorous musical elements of the finale. Bartok's sonata number 2 is on here too it's sly and unpredictable, you can't tell what's coming next and I mean that in a good way and Ravel's Tzigane is off the scale exciting and improvisatory. Kop conjuring a scarcely unbelievable range of sounds in the opening solo. With the freedom and timbral range of an experimental folk musician plus all the technique of a classical virtuoso.
When Leshchenko turns up and joins in she seems to be part pianist part cimbalan player driving Ravel's score to a wild climax. Immaculate recording as well. I think this is really special. It's called Deux , it's just the two of them and it arrived yesterday on the Alpha label. --Andrew McGregor - BBC Radio 3 Record Review