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Solo, Vol. 1 (Andrey Baranov)

Andrey Baranov (violin) (Muso)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Solo, Vol. 1
Solo Violin Works by JS Bach, Paganini and Ysaÿe
Andrey Baranov (violin)
Muso MU-039   60:42 mins

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Winner of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Competition and leader of the David Oistrakh Quartet, Andrey Baranov possesses an unsual depth of sonority and unfailing intonational focus that ensures every note emerges with ear-ringing purity. Those listeners inclined towards semantic revisionism might find Baranov’s essentially cantabile take on Bach’s B minor Solo Partita a shade ‘old-school’, yet hearing this glorious music delivered with such sonic purity and velvety espressivo intensity tends to disarm any sense of interpretative anachronism.

Baranov’s fearless take on Ysaÿe’s coruscating one-movement Third Sonata fits hand-in-glove with the music’s expressive proclivities. In the wrong hands, the music’s exuberant invention can easily create the impression of whirlwind acrobatics without a discernible sense of structural imperative. Yet such is Baranov’s ability in characterising each thematic interface that its fantasia-style invention acquires a compelling sense of emotional narrative.

To finish, seven of Paganini’s solo caprices, opening with the first.
It’s one of the most challenging of the set with its quick-fire thirds, both down and up, and which Baranov despatches with effortless precision. Most impressive of all is the famous No. 24, a culminating set of variations whose every technical intricacy Baranov negotiates with thrilling accuracy – the notorious bow-and-left-hand pizzicato exchanges whizz by at phenomenal speed.

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Julian Haylock