Friday 1 March 2013

Baltic Nights with Britten Sinfonia

Alina Ibragimova (Photo: Sussie Ahlburg)

“Pēteris Vasks’s Violin Concerto “Distant Light” presses the button marked “spiritual angst” quite effectively, but for all its sincerity, feels hamstrung by the chunkiness of its transitions. Alina Ibragimova gave it the very best performance its composer can possibly have wished for (he was present and looked very pleased), directing the ensemble of strings while burrowing deep into its heartfelt expressive core with an unyielding intensity that marks her out as one of the world’s most powerfully persuasive violinists. It brought a large part of the audience to its feet but left me only intermittently touched. Ultimately, I’m unable to shake the feeling that Arvo Pärt does this sort of thing better.”

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