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Records International, June 2018

When Naxos’ first Sauret disc appeared six years ago (08N050), we said that he “might be the most ignored violinist of the 19th century who was world-famous in his time”. Now we get the beginning of a jaw-dropping sequence of 24 Etudes-Caprices which marry virtuosity with every expressive opportunity available to the instrument. The result is one of the unsung but major cycles for solo violin spanning all twenty-four keys Nazrin Rashidova (violin). © 2017 Records International

Joseph Magil
American Record Guide, November 2017

I usually grit my teeth when I have to listen to recordings of pedagogical material for the violin, but not this time. Sauret the composer had panache—as much, I suppose, as Sauret the performer had. Of all the music I have heard that was written in the wake of Paganini’s 24 Caprices published in 1820, these are the most worthy successors. Sauret doesn’t quite have the Italian master’s talent for writing catchy tunes, but he more than makes up for it in drama and bravura. These works are fiendishly difficult. Satanically difficult. Although it takes no special compositional talent to write music that borders on unplayable, Sauret had the knack for writing such music to cast the violinist in the role of hero. This music is exciting and like Paganini’s Caprices gives the listener a feeling akin to watching a high-wire act. As I listened, I kept thinking, “Did she really just do that?” I can finally recommend a recording of studies for the violin aside from Paganini’s exemplary set that any music lover can enjoy.

[Nazrin Rashidova’s] playing is spectacular. It’s been quite a while since I last heard a young violinist with such a consummate technique and unabashed bravura wedded to a great sense of style. Rashidova has already attained the ripe old age of 29, and I could name quite a few other violinists before the public today who are much more famous but cannot compare to her. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2017

These are alternately highly demanding, then highly lyrical rhapsodic works, owing as much or more to the tradition of a Paganini as to a Bach. They are in all 24 keys, Nazrin Rashidova tackles them with heroic passion and exactitude, with a beautiful tone and satisfying idiomatic flare.

Ms. Rashidova brings us a ravishing interpretation for a most enjoyable program. Recommended. © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, September 2017

Clearly, [Rashidova’s] technical facility, professional polish, and musical poise in executing these highly demanding works are never in question… © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, August 2017

Naxos will carry through the recording of all of Sauret’s Études-Caprices across several volumes of which this is the first. Their violinist is the most impressive Nazrin Rashidova. She is recorded in a vibrant acoustic with a middlingly forward balance. In this setting you catch the full range of the music and the playing in an impact that is grippingly vivid. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2017

In my yesteryears, Émile Sauret’s pleasing melodies would appear in books of violin music given to encourage young students to learn the basic techniques required. He belonged to the group of globe-trotting virtuoso violinists who toured extensively on both sides of the Atlantic having been born in France in 1852 where he soon became known as a child prodigy. Many regarded him as the natural successor to Paganini, and contemporary reports would talk of his amazing dexterity with both hands. Between those years spent ‘on the road’, he taught in major conservatories, while at the same time composing works, most of which featured the violin. Among his major achievements was an extended group of 24 Etudes-Caprices in every key, of which this disc offers the first seven. In content they are aimed at the advanced student to perfect their technique in the various tricks of the trade. As such, these admirable performances from the Azerbaijani-born British violinist, Nazrin Rashidova, will prove an invaluable guide. They should, for a start, teach that it is not just a question of accurate crossing of strings, spiccato bowing, tight trills, double-stopping or the many other techniques tested, but the need to perform these while retaining immaculate intonation. To those outside the world of violinists, the lack of memorable melodic invention, and a wide range of tempos, will make the works of questionable interest, though Rashidova’s beautiful playing should not be missed. Immaculate recorded sound. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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