Leonidas Kavakos / Enrico Pace

Beethoven: Violin Sonatas

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After initiating an exclusive recording contract with Decca, violinist Leonidas Kavakos released a set of Ludwig van Beethoven's complete violin sonatas with pianist Enrico Pace, offering full-blooded performances that have a strong appeal to a wide audience. The interpretations are passionate and full-toned, communicated in a strong Romantic vein rather than with Classical restraint (with no apparent concessions to historically informed practices), and Kavakos and Pace give vigorous and enthusiastic performances that show an abundance of energy and buoyant spirits. Naturally, such robust playing requires a clear recorded sound, so the microphone placement is close-up, practically on top of the performers, to preserve every note and to avoid the drafty, distant quality of many recital recordings. Unfortunately, the sound of Kavakos' breathing is rather noticeable, so it takes some sympathetic listening to get past it, or at least a slightly reduced volume. With that one problem excepted, this set will introduce Kavakos to a broader public, and the open expressiveness of the music will attract new fans.

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