Mozart: Die Violinsonaten

Itzhak Perlman / Daniel Barenboim

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Mozart: Die Violinsonaten Review

by Blair Sanderson

Originally released in the 1980s as separate albums, Itzhak Perlman's recordings of Mozart's violin sonatas were reissued in this box set in 1991 as a special collector's edition. In these sonatas for keyboard and violin, the piano dominates as the violin often tags along in unison with the piano's melody, rarely departing from it except in an ornamental capacity. Even so, Perlman brings his customary good humor and energy to these pieces, and through his vibrant and spirited playing makes the violin's obbligato more or less equal to the pianist's elaborate part. Daniel Barenboim displays a great deal of verve and spontaneity in his ever-shifting roles as soloist and accompanist. His playing is clean and always precise, yet genuine warmth comes through, no doubt because playing with Perlman must have been an unalloyed joy. The friendship and communication between these two musicians clearly contributed to the success of these exemplary performances, which remain an essential offering in the catalog. Deutsche Grammophon's recordings are excellent throughout and offer a full, natural sound even on the early DDD recordings from 1983.

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