Andrey Bielov is an outstanding violinist. He should record the entire standard repertoire and much more.
He has a large, silky tone and brilliant technique. This recording, done a decade ago now, seems to be his only recording to date, although he has apparently continued giving concerts and recitals worldwide. His readings of the two Prokofiev sonatas - the #1 which is non-standard literature, and the ever-popular #2, are fresh, interesting, and thought-provoking. He was only 20 years old at the time, but his playing sounds a good 15-20 years older. Bielov's Prokofiev Sonata #1 is my new favorite recording of it - Lydia Mordkovitch/Gerhard Oppitz recording was the one I listened to for many years, so I was looking for a good newer one, and I found it in Bielov/Tchetuev. Not many violinists play it, perhaps because the melodies are dark and sometimes border on being a little too brusque (in fact, the tempo marking of the second movement is 'Allegro Brusco'). Bielov makes some beautiful music in the long passages of slurred 32nd notes in the first movement, which has been described as being set in a windy graveyard at night. The reflective third movement is wonderful and he captures all the passion in the finale. A wonderful listening experience.
The Sonata #2 is excellent too; I've heard so many other people play it and it's nice to hear another outstanding performer put a new spin on it. The
Solo Sonata is high-spirited and the tempi and dynamics well modulated. I wish Prokofiev had written another one or two more such solo sonatas, as he really knew how to write for the violin. He was thinking of writing a third concerto but sadly, died before it was realized. The 5 Melodies are seldom recorded or heard in recitals but should be, and luckily it's recordings like Bielov's that keep them alive. I hope to hear more of Bielov's playing in the future; unfortunately he seems to be a one-hit wonder.