The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Review 2009 -

IT WOULDN’T have been high on my wish­list. But, then, Haydn’s com­plete mu­sic for that ob­so­lete, stringed in­stru­ment, the bary­ton, which so fas­ci­nated his aris­to­cratic em­ployer, was long caught in a Catch 22 sit­u­a­tion. Not any more. The Ester­házy En­sem­ble’s com­plete record­ing on a bar­gain-base­ment 21-CD set (Bril­liant Clas­sics 93907) of­fers in­sight into a world that fas­ci­nat­ingly presents light­weight mu­sic with som­bre colour­ing.

Bril­liant Clas­sics spe­cialise in megaset bar­gains. It’s the la­bel that brought you the com­plete Bach and Mozart – and more – at ridicu­lous prices. They’ve been scour­ing for­mer Soviet archives for a while now, but some of the ma­jors have been hit­ting back.

Last year EMI is­sued sets of all their record­ings of Rostropovich and Richter, and this year Deutsche Gram­mophon col­lected all their Richter record­ings (477 8122) into a nine-CD a set which in­cludes the ex­traor­di­nary Schu­mann per­for­mances which earned the great pi­anist in­stant cult sta­tus in the 1950s.

You can ex­pect cult sta­tus to at­tach to Rus­sian vi­o­lin­ist Alina Ibrag­i­mova’s riv­et­tingly pure ac­count of Bach’s solo vi­o­lin mu­sic (Hype­r­ion 67691/2, 2 CDs). And, still

Alina Ibrag­i­mova: cult sta­tus in the mak­ing

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