Brahms, Bach, Ravel, etc

Our rating 
3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Bach,Brahms,etc,Ravel
LABELS: Avie
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Sergey Khachatryan
WORKS: Third Sonata; Chaconne; Tzigane; Carmen Fantasy
PERFORMER: Sergey Khachatryan (violin), Lusine Khachatryan, Vladimir Khachatryan (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDZ 5 75684 2
By current standards of youthful precociousness, the 17-year-old Sergey Khachatryan is quite an old man to be making his recording debut, though I wish he’d waited a little longer before having a go at the Brahms Third Sonata. The technique is all there, and the sound is warm and focused, but neither he nor his sister seems comfortable with the use of rubato. You don’t give shape to this music simply by lingering over bar-lines – all it does is fragment the structure rather than hold it together. The second subject of the first movement suffers particularly from this, as well as being in a slower tempo which adds to the impression of the music drifting well away from its Allegro marking. Conversely, in the Bach Chaconne, Khachatryan could have used more rubato and more subtle phrasing and dynamics to give the piece that extra edge of fantasy and drama, though I don’t think that I’ve ever heard such immaculate intonation and steady tone in the multiple stopping. That goes for the hair-raising pyrotechnics of Ravel’s Tzigane and Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy as well, and in the Chausson Poème he spins a fine line of sentiment. He’s already very good: when musical maturity comes he’ll be terrific. Martin Cotton

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