Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D; Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor; Sonata for Solo Violin in D

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Prokofiev
LABELS: Naxos
WORKS: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D; Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor; Sonata for Solo Violin in D
PERFORMER: Tedi Papavrami (violin) Polish National RSO/Antoni Wit
CATALOGUE NO: 8.553494
Born in Tirana, Albania, in 1971, and a French citizen since 1986, violinist Tedi Papavrami’s is a name to watch. Despite some very minor intonation glitches and the odd bar or two of choppy phrasing, Papavrami brings an impressive mix of seductive fantasy and contagious exuberance to this Prokofiev triptych.

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His sound, more incisive than glamorous, suits the acerbity of the First Concerto’s nerve-tingling scherzo admirably. To counterbalance the vitriol, there’s a dreamy inner life to this score, especially its finale, which Papavrami captures eloquently here. The slow movement of the G minor work calls for greater purity of line and simplicity of utterance, yet elsewhere Papavrami’s account is unusually vivid.

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Though barely 15 minutes in length, the filler, Prokofiev’s Sonata for Solo Violin, makes fearsome demands on the stamina and technical reserves of the player; Papavrami rises capably to its challenges, making good sense of this elusive piece. These are accomplished and engaging performances, and the Naxos recording is certainly the most natural I’ve heard from the Polish Radio Concert Hall, Katowice. Recommended. Michael Jameson