This motley collection of virtuoso works is well played by Nikolai Znajder
although one must be frank and say that this playing is nothing special.
The Sibelius Concerto is full of mannerisms and interpretative decisions
that mar the flow of the work considerably. Znaider is at his best in the
fantastic Adagio di molto where his dreamy violin wafts and floats
above the orchestra with wanton spirituality. The accompaniment of the Liege
orchestra is adequate enough although there are occasional lapses here and
there. The enthusiastic applause that ends the work shows that Znaider touches
the heart even if his playing is not technically perfect. In the chamber
works all is spiritual and rapt and the playing improves quite considerably.
I enjoyed the solo Ysaye sonata that contains some incredibly beautiful melodies
that are permeated with a deep sense of spiritual longing especially in the
Allegro furioso that rounds off the work with devilish intricacy.
The same goes for the Debussy Sonata, which is played with a certain charm
that includes a considerable contribution from Sophie Rachlin, an immensely
talented and gifted accompanist. Wienawski and Chausson make strange bedfellows
but Znaider makes short work of these with fiendishly quick renditions but
which are markedly lacking in passionate intensity. A mixed bag of a disc
which only contains a brief biographical sketch by way of notes and if it
retails at full price is a not inconsiderable expense. Generally one cannot
fail to admire Znaider's playing but there are infinitely better violin concerto
and sonata recordings on offer.
Reviews from previous
Reviews carry sales links but you can also purchase