Elgar Works for Violin & Piano
Born in 1962, Marat Bisengaliev originally hails from Kazakhstan and is a prize-winning graduate from the Moscow Conservatory. He has made a number of well-received discs for Naxos and on the evidence of this most enjoyable anthology is a violinist of great technical accomplishment and communicative warmth, and he generates a really fine rapport with the admirable Benjamin Frith.
As the opening Romance (with its striking echoes of the finale from Schumann’s Fourth Symphony) immediately reveals, these artists bring an affectingly uncloying, totally unforced naturalness of expression to this charming repertoire. Even such well-worn nuggets as the two Chansons and
Elsewhere, Black Box’s programme very usefully plugs a number of gaps in the current Elgar discography, not least the delectable Bizarrerie, Op. 13 No. 2 (companion piece to
Piano tone seems a touch metallic at the outset (and Bisengaliev’s occasional sniffing may prove distracting to some listeners), but the ear soon adjusts, and balance within the generous church acoustic is generally excellent. Lovely stuff.'