The Strad Issue: January 2014
Description: A ravishing disc of Belgian masterpieces
Musicians: Lisa Jacobs (violin) Ksenia Kouzmenko (piano)
Composer: Ysaÿe, Franck

Lisa Jacobs (who plays the piano-accompanied version of the Poème élégiaque, alongside the op.21 Extase), emphasises the music’s impassioned eloquence with a cantabile of beguiling radiance.

The stand-out performance here is, however, the Franck Sonata, captured at a discreet distance from the microphones, creating the uncanny impression of this deeply sensual score being experienced through a heat-haze. As a result the pseudo-orchestral writing of the second-movement Allegro emerges as an imposing cathedral of sound, with Jacobs’s exultant phrasing and captivating sonority reaching new heights in the finale’s soaring lyricism.

Julian Haylock