Heiftez, Milstein, Oistrakh -- the finest violinists of the twentieth century in my opinion. Of course, my opinion is based on certain aspects of my being. Other great violinists of the twentieth century don't find their aesthetic way into the peculiar structure of my consciousness.
Now there is a new grandmaster of the violin, the finest of the twenty-first century.
Born in Russia in 1985 and now living in England, Alina Ibragimova is a supreme musician. More than technical brilliance, she brings to the Beethoven sonatas below an elevated spiritual artistry. It's that rare kind of artistry coming to presence without being compromised by ego. (Heiftez played egotistically; Oistrakh exuded cultural egoism; Milstein was commendably self-effacing.)
Ibragimova's playing manifests as pure musical expression, as if the score were somehow magically playing itself. The violin here is so...Beethovian.
But speaking of technical brilliance, I've never heard this kind of perfection before in a violinist. Her beautiful tonal production captivates melodically and dazzles rhythmically (that unblemished punctuation of strong double-stops!). I've never heard such natural and confident playing.
The accompanist Cédric Tiberghien is no slouch either.
Her Prokofiev CD is also worthwhile.
Her home page -- alinaibragimova.com