Paganini, Tchaikovsky, Vieuxtemps, Bacewicz, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Wieniawski, Milstein, etc

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Bacewicz,etc,Milstein,Paganini,Prokofiev,Shostakovich,Tchaikovsky,Vieuxtemps,Wieniawski
LABELS: Black Box
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Amir
WORKS: Works
PERFORMER: Amir, Marat Bisengaliev (violin), John Lenehan (piano)
Amir is – or was when this disc was recorded late in 1999 and early in 2000 – just 13 years old. He hails from Kazakhstan and comes from a family of musicians, one of whom, his uncle Marat Bisengaliev, also takes part in the duets recorded here. Amir is brilliant. He produces an amazingly powerful, rich tone, his fingerwork is sure and fast, his bowing technique astonishing, his intonation, even in the most testing of passages – and there are many of them in this recital of virtuoso fireworks – precise, his range of colours pretty wide. And he obviously enjoys playing. So you might be wondering why I, who still struggles to get his fingers round the notes of the simplest Bach keyboard prelude, am not yet hailing him as a young genius. He can play this sort of music, for sure. My definition of a genius, though, is someone who is enlightened and who can enlighten, not just thrill and charm. And until young Amir is let loose on his Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berg and Bartók, there is simply no way of telling. For the moment, however, his Wieniawski, Vieuxtemps, Milstein and Paganini showpieces and his witty Russian-Polish selection (Shostakovich Duets, Prokofiev March from The Love for Three Oranges, Bacewicz’s The Wild Horse…) bode well for his future. Stephen Pettitt