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Nurtured under the same Soviet pedagogy as his father Yulian, Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a thoroughly Russian but more recognisably modern violinist. Even allowing for the relatively primitive Soviet recording equipment of the 1950s, a comparison of recordings of Bach’s D minor Partita by both Sitkovetskys shows Dmitry to have a lighter, more variegated sound in his 1997 version, with greater tonal scope and architectural phrasing. The Prelude is enlivened by agogic (lengthening) accents and a cleaner, brighter sound. This rhetorical approach is echoed in the other movements preceding the Chaconne, which has an appropriate impetuosity. Similar traits characterise Dmitry’s Mozart B flat Sonata (2009), which, though played with a fully modern sound and approach, is nonetheless lighter and more nimble in tone than his father’s. Dmitry has a wonderful clarity in these performances, vibrato being carefully restrained, and tonal spaciousness built in. This infuses much of his recorded work, including a hauntingly thoughtful Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 (1989); this, especially in the opening movement, has an eerie stillness and space that draws the listener into a beautiful yet unsettling sound world, impressively supported by the London Symphony Orchestra.

In Romantic repertoire Sitkovetsky proves a conventional but notably fine interpreter. This includes a clean and incisive Mendelssohn Concerto (1995), a fine Brahms Concerto, and an excellent Sibelius Concerto (2000) where his tight, clean sound suitably complements the icy soundscape. The opening, often so difficult to judge, is beautifully precise.

Whilst it is debatable whether his arrangement adds anything the original work, the Chausson listed is a beautiful performance with an exquisite contribution from Sitkovetsky’s mother, Bella Davidovich, as part of her 80th birthday celebrations in 2008. Dmitry Sitkovetsky’s playing is a fitting testament to an important musical family.

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Milsom (A–Z of String Players, Naxos 8.558081-84)

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