Classical Editor: Rob Barnett                               Founder Len Mullenger:

Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Partita No. 1 in B minor, BWV1002
Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Violin Sonata No. 1 in G, Opus 78
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Rondo in B minor, D895
Elisabeth Batiashvili (violin)
Milana Chernyavskaya (piano)
Rec October 1999 and November 2000, Potton Hall, Suffolk
EMI Classics Debut Series
CDZ 5 74017 2 [64.10]
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Elisabeth Batiashvili is a major talent with a huge future, as those who heard last year's Proms performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto may remember. On this EMI Debut CD she performs an enterprising programme of German classics, and performs it with assurance.

The EMI recording gives her the utmost support, atmospherically capturing the rich and firm tone of her violin, so that the slower music in Bach's unaccompanied Partita in B minor is tonally satisfying. Her performance is magisterially phrased, and sounds as if the music could not possibly be otherwise, with musical judgements of the highest order. Occasionally she is inclined to opt for slower tempi, as in the Double (variation) following the Sarabande, but since her tone is so secure this simply adds to the character of her playing.

In Schubert's little known Rondo Batiashvili's attention to details of dynamic nuance is nicely captured by the EMI engineers, allowing the momentum of the quicker music to emerge with a real sense of classical proportion.

Brahms's great G major Sonata is a wonderfully lyrical and tuneful composition, requiring the most subtle of relationships between violin and piano. Here Batiashvili and her accompanist Milana Chernyakavska make an excellent team, as confirmed, for example, by the natural unanimity of approach in the delivery of the glorious first theme of the Sonata. Their maturity and insight belies their years, and is the product of true artistry. This disc is strongly recommended.

Terry Barfoot

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