Violinist Simone Lamsma cleaned up at a number of international violin competitions in the early 2000s. Yet this recording does not seem to be a representative sample of the musical and technical skills she must possess. Her choice of literature may have some impact on her performance. The Elgar Violin Sonata is simply not one of the composer's strongest works, nor is it one of the crowning jewels in the violin's extensive repertoire. Lamsma, in an attempt to infuse the piece with more life than it has, seems to greatly sacrifice her sound quality. It often comes across as forced, thin, and strident. Her intonation also seems to suffer occasionally, at times seeming quite sharp. She does, however, possess an impressive up-bow spiccato.
The set of 11 miniatures are slightly more interesting than the sonata, especially since many of them are so rarely heard. Still, none of them represent a highlight of Elgar's oeuvre. It would be curious to hear Lamsma performing a more varied and interesting program to see if that might impact her performance.