Gramophone - Gramophone Collector, Chamber Music Reviews by Caroline Gill
"Of all the recordings in this collection, "PoÃ¨mes" - the recital disc from IrÃ¨ne Duval and pianist Pierre-Yves Hodique- is one that most effectively balances the slick new world of French performance with the smoky, clautrophobic atmosphere of music still soaked in the nostalgia of the Belle Epoque. There is a real sense of being taken back through the mists of time by this closely recorded disc starting with the sonata Poulenc wrote during the Second World War, it reverses through Szymanowski's filigree La fontaine d'Arethuse (written in 1915 and containing some of his most beautiful melodies), Chausson's epic Poeme of 1896 and the FaurÃ© Sonata of 1876 to Ernst's 1854 Grand Caprice on Schubert's "ErlkÃ¶nig"".
Culture, DNA Â– IrÃ¨ne Duval's Consecration
"...an impressive accomplice of solidity and of confidence for a 21 years old musician. And from the very beginning, in this romantic work of maturity, the Â“manlyÂ” bow of IrÃ¨ne Duval marks a deep and clear furrow. And even more in a dramatic presto where the bow hair literally sticks on the strings, modeling a compact material full of static electricity. The duo interpretation, a long way from giving way to Brahms melancholy, cares about the architecture and follows a clear line, in a single breathe.
Partita written by Lutoslawski in 1984, gives the piano a frequently metronomic role behind a quasi-improvising violin: by her "marcato" playing. Duval seizes the music score with all her energy and transcend the passages tension by doing repeated notes, like series of electric shocks. (...)
The virtuosity demonstration of the violinist takes an appearance of show in Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy (...). In the skin of an exposed toreador, IrÃ¨ne Duval draws near the public and gets rid of her stand: the stupendous mastery of arpeggios, the improbable jumps, the changings of playing techniques Â– numerous passages on harmonics -, all of it played with a remarkable intonation, keeps you out of breathe and triggers the bravos."
In the newspaper Le Populaire du Centre- 1001 notes
The Garde RÃ©publicaine under the orders of Beethoven
"In classical concerts it isn't recommended to applause between the movements. The artist takes advantage of the rest to concentrate, breathe, prepare the following sequences. At Solignac, the temptation was too strong. At the end of the first movement of Beethoven violin concerto, served by the young virtuoso IrÃ¨ne Duval, the public demonstrated its joy and enthusiasm. Lively, but also contemplative, the conducting of SÃ©bastien Billard, conductor of the Orchestre de la Garde RÃ©publicaine, creates a comfortable climate. This atmosphere favors the inevitable explosion of the refined impulses the young violinist exposes with a non-dissimulated pleasure. She restores to this work its rhythmical vivacity and its poetry. Every note is being cared, laid down in the eardrums with an infinite delicacy."
Freie Presse - Zwickau. Dozens of Bravos for the young violinist
(In Sibelius Concerto)
"Dozens of Bravos resonated for IrÃ¨ne Duval, the young French violinist. [...] With her subtle vibrant and noble sound, her audacious and vivacious way of making music, and her brilliant technique, that even in the most fastests passages allows her to keep the transparency note after note; the solist-born in 1992 was indeed an experience for each self, she incarnates this class we wish to find in the next invited artists."
Markneukirchen Zeitung Â– Special edition
Gala concert of the 46th International Instrumental Competition of Markneukirchen
Â«But the highlight of this wonderful evening was then this coming on stage awaited with so much suspense (thanks to Prof.Berger's speech!) of the young French violinist IrÃ¨ne Duval, who with Ludwig van Beethoven's (1770-1827) violin and orchestra concerto in D major op 61, has bewitched the enthusiastic audience of the ceremony ! Her play in Finale of the competition was already excellent, and yet that night she could, free of any tension, abandon herself to the music: The heart opened itself to the other and the soul...- of course, see Eichendorff!! The 3rd movement was only then pure joy, and after the last sound had fainted, there wasn't any stop: standing ovations, shouts of Bravos, and several minutes long applauses made come and go until the last moment the little, humble French and touched her. Prof.Barbara Sanderling, jury president in the Bass category, expressed herself after the concert also subjugated; such a moment, she hasn't yet undergone it in any other competition!"
Freie Presse - Markneukirchen - Beethoven in Paradise
"An artist with great talent has won the Markneukirchen Competition, dedicated this year to violin. The 18 years old French, IrÃ¨ne Duval, had already convinced by her exceptional playing the jury of the 46th International Competition in the music-village of Vogtland. Then, during the closing concert, Sunday night, she even made the public to stand. The ovations and bravos of a standing public received her version of the one and unique (unique also in its genre) violin concerto of Ludwig van Beethoven.
This young violinist is talented in a way she can pretend to a great future, ensuring that her talent doesn't wear out. She plays with a lot of lightness Â– as if her fingers did only brush up against the strings. From her technical ease, she pulls a sound, quasi delicat, the larghetto of the second movement sounded with roundness, like a song coming from angels - Beethoven in paradise. And IrÃ¨ne Duval was lucky, in the person of Jiri Malat at the conducting of the Greiz-Reichenbach Philharmonie of Vogtland, to have a partner adapting himself, with the orchestra, to the extremely subtle play of the solist, giving her the adequate color background. The attention within each movement, and between them, was preserved, despite this lightness in suspense Â– In the final rondo, IrÃ¨ne Duval could even indulge in fine and malicious colors, very charming, it was simply grandiose. Â»