Critical Acclaim for Afinat Records
Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine
“Cooper treats the lyrical lines [in Violin Sonata No. 2] with loving sensitivity and manages the tricky feats as if they are natural extensions of his nimble artistry. In the Five Melodies, his sweetness of tone and seamless phrasing are reminders of the music’s beginnings as vocalizes… [Violin Sonata No. 1] is a deeply affecting score that Cooper and Badridze, a pianist of bold accomplishment, shape as a series of somber and reflective scenes…”
Terry Robbins, The Whole Note
There’s more lovely duo playing on Prokofiev Music for Violin and Piano, the debut duo CD by violinist Jameson Cooper and pianist Ketevan Badridze issued on the Afinat Records label (AR1601) in celebration of the 125th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The English-born Cooper has long been active in the United States, and is the first violinist with the Euclid Quartet in residence at Indiana University South Bend, where Badridze is also on the faculty as a senior lecturer.
It’s a CD that certainly makes a lovely birthday present, with outstanding playing of the three works on the program: the Five Melodies Op.35bis; the Violin Sonata No.1 in F Minor Op.80; and the Violin Sonata No.2 in D Major Op.94bis. Both performers are in great form, with their outstanding techniques allowing them to explore the emotional depths of the dark and intensely personal F Minor sonata in particular.
Cooper and Badridze have some top competition in this field – I’ve reviewed similar CDs by Viktoria Mullova, Alina Ibragimova, Jonathan Crow and James Ehnes in the last few years – but this is a disc that can more than hold its own. Cooper’s insightful and perceptive booklet notes complete a terrific package.
Mark Estren, Infodad.com
"A top-notch new CD from Afinat offers thoughtful and beautifully played versions of all this music, with Jameson Cooper and Ketevan Badridze showing a fine sense of the works’ very different moods and a truly commendable give-and-take in their performances of the music...
Sonata No. 2 requires a violinist capable of balancing its virtuosic elements with a kind of elegance that would not be out of place in the Classical era, and this is just what Cooper brings to this reading...
There is so much angst in Sonata No. 1 that the music seems barely able to hold it all, and performers sensitive to the content – as Cooper and Badridze clearly are – need to keep the darkness at bay while making it clear just how urgently the abrasive elements want to burst through...
These [Five Melodies] partake fully of Prokofiev’s style, and invite a level of expressive warmth that they receive in full from the performers here."