“breadth, lyricism and fleet technique” The New York Times
“the poise, perfection and inner-burning fire of a master like David Oistrakh – in his prime on a good night.” The Miami Herald
22-year-old Russian violinist “Misha” Simonyan makes a striking recording debut in this album, already creating a stir prior to its official release (see quote from an early review in “The Strad” below). There is little doubt that this album will become a classic in the field of violin playing. A brief summary of Misha’s skyrocketing career includes violin study from age five in his native Novosibirsk, a New York debut at age 13 in 1999 at Lincoln Center, a major Russian debut in St. Petersburg at the Kirov in the same year, and concerts throughout Europe, the U.S. and South America. He is the winner of the Classical Recording Foundation’s 2008 Artist of the Year Award. His own musical hero is David Oistrakh. A quote from an early review of this album in The Strad gives its flavor: “The problem for those players whose rhetorical instincts are derived from the grand Romantic tradition – even such giants as Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern – is that the First Sonata spends much of its time railing against the cantabile espressivo style on which their entire musical thinking is based. ”
This is precisely where Mikhail Simonyan comes into his own. By tackling this much underrated score on its own terms, he unlocks its well-kept secrets with the sleight-of-hand nonchalance of an ace safe-cracker. Suddenly music that has previously appeared unyielding and unseductive takes on a special magic all its own. Simonyan’s tonal and intonational purity, coupled with a ravishing range of expressive colours, illuminates this extraordinary work with laser-beam accuracy.
“Simonyan proves no less revelatory in the Second Sonata by emphasizing its neo-Classical grace and elegance, and he is matched note for note by the attentive, sensitively balanced pianism of Alexei Podkorytov. If in the First Sonata Simonyan uncovers an expressive warmth one scarcely thought possible, in the Second it is his exquisite poise and ‘cool’ that most impresses. With engineering as beguiling as the performances themselves, this is an outstanding release.” The Strad
Prokofiev: Violin Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, Op. 80 Violin Sonata No. 2 in D Major, Op. 94a