All things bright and beautiful Asia Jimenez for the RCM.
Beauty everywhere in the V&A for the recital in the Globe of Asia Jiménez Antón de Vez and Alison Rhind with some remarkable page turning from Christopher Axworthy!
An amazingly active week for the very fine young Spanish violinist Asia Jimenez.
Having graduated with an honours degree in 2015 from the Conservatory in her home city of Barcelona she is now perfecting her studies in London at the Royal College of Music.
Playing a magnificent Gagliano violin kindly loaned by a private benefactor and having just returned from the prestigious Prussia Cove Chamber Music seminar.
This week alone she rappresented the RCM as one of their top students in a Masterclass of Alina Ibragimova, a concert promoted by the RCM in the Victoria and Albert Museum and a Mozart concerto appearance in the Super String Day Series in the main concert hall of the RCM.
A very stimulating Masterclass with the Russian born Alina Ibragimova.Whom having received her very early training from the famous Gnesin School in Moscow went on to study at the Menuhin School and the RCM in the UK.
Working together as colleagues on the Beethoven Spring Sonata which Asia was to play in recital the next day at the V&A.
A new initmate space called the Globe was the venue for an early evening concert in this most beautiful and fascinating of all museums for all those looking for beauty through the ages.
So what more logical than to have an hour recital of wonderful music surrounded by some beautiful and exotic looking instruments on display in the gallery.
In fact just in view was a Stradivarius violin that was crying out to be played not just displayed!
I remember Ruggiero Ricci recording all 24 Caprices on Paganini’s own violin held in the town hall in Genoa where Paganini was born and being allowed only a few minutes to try the violin before the recording such is the fear of owning such a priceless instrument. Understandable but hardly fair as Paganini’s violin is much bigger than the normal instruments and the Caprices notoriously difficult to play.
However Asia’s beautiful sounding Gagliano was just right for the atmosphere that this wooden frame created. In the rather high ceilinged galleries this gave just the feel of being in an intimate warm space with the audience seated all around the inside of this oval space and the piano and violin playing in the round to the audience both in and out of the oval.
Some fine duo playing with the pianist Alison Rhind very much the equal partner in an exchange of musical views with the violinist.
Brahms’s Scherzo from the FAE sonata was given a performance of great rhythmic precision combined with a delicacy for detail with the great passionate outbursts that are so typical of Brahms .
It was interesting to hear now the whole of the “Spring ” sonata op 24 by Beethoven that had been discussed in the masterclass the day before.
Just the right choice for this initmate atmosphere for one of Beethovens most refreshingly melodic of Violin Sonatas
In fact similar also in period to the simple almost Mozart like melodic invention of the Piano Sonata op 28 known as the Pastoral.
The exchange of the melody from the violin to the piano was played with a simplicity and directness that makes this one of the purest of all Beethoven’s Violin Sonatas.
Of course with Beethoven there are always clouds on the horizon and these were played with all the necessary verve and precision allowing great contrasts between the two sides to Beethoven’s complex character.
Some very beautiful playing passing first from the piano then to the violin in the sublime Adagio molto espressivo with some almost breathless,hardly whispered comments from the violin.
Perfect ensemble in the Scherzo played at a real Allegro molto with great technical assurance leading after this passing cloud to the most radiant of Rondos. Played with just the right almost nostalgic inflection in a fascinating interplay between violin and piano.
Debussy’s elusive sonata was played with great verve and style but of course on such a small piano the overall magic sound world of Debussy appeared a bit dry.
However the De Falla Suite populaire espagnole that ended this short recital was played with all the flair and infectious virtuosity by this beautiful and talented young violinist. Seconded by some very robust and passionate sounds from a piano that in the Debussy had seemed rather inadequate .
And only a few days later The Super String Day at the RCM . A five hour marathon which included the five violin concertos by Mozart.
The soloists one of whom was Asia (very finely projected slow movement of the 4th concerto) accompanying their colleagues in the very fine mainly string orchestra inbetween taking turns to play the solo part.
What a perfect training for these young musicians and what a feast of music for those lucky enough to be invited to listen to them.