Tchaikovsky’s Fourth

Wednesday 18th November, 2.15pm

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra


  • Schubert  Rosamunde – Overture, 10′
  • Beethoven  Violin Concerto , 42′
  • Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 , 44′

For Tchaikovsky, music was a matter of life and death – and when he wrote his Fourth Symphony, he didn’t hold back. This is a no-holds-barred emotional autobiography, told in music of uncompromising rawness and passion. Vassily Sinaisky has this music in his blood; it’s hard to imagine a more dramatic contrast to Beethoven’s serene Violin Concerto – played by the stunning Alina Ibragimova – or Schubert’s Viennese bon-bon of an overture.

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Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review

“There are some violinists who just stun us with their virtuosity — and that is in fact all they do. With Alina Ibragimova we are on an altogether higher plane, where technique, musicality and intellect all fuse into one, and her performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the CBSO summed all this up wonderfully.

She burrowed into entries and emerged smilingly at the top of each paragraph, in a reading which was indeed one of seriousness and smiles, combining assertive statements with sweet lyricism, her altissimo notes angelically pure. Bowing was expressive, finger-work deftly co-ordinated in this intelligent, highly personal yet always appropriate interpretation of this greatest of violin concertos. Her use of the cadenza Beethoven composed for his own piano transcription was remarkably thought-provoking, abetted by the sensitive timpaning of Erika Ohman.

In fact Ohman’s input was only one of many sensitive contributions from orchestral members, not least bassoonist Julian Roberts. Under Vassily Sinaisky’s wise, untrammelled batonless direction the orchestral response was honest and direct, and their constant awareness of the soloist’s playing was an object-lesson in how to create as rewarding a collaboration as this.”