Dvorak's violin sonata is surprisingly poorly represented on disc. While perhaps not his greatest work it contains some lovely music and the writing is consistently inspired. The opening movement is very Brahmsian in character, thematically rich but perhaps just a little bit too stately. The slow movement, on the other hand, is wonderful, entirely typical in its melodic wistfulness but formally concentrated, and the buoyant finale is genuinely catchy and spirited. The performance by Gil and Orli Shaham is impeccable, full of color and lyricism, wonderfully phrased and nuanced and with plenty of vigor.
In the Sonatina the competition is of course fiercer, but the Shahams hold their own. Their performance is communicative and sensitive, and the combination of youthful, fresh energy and yearning melancholia is superbly realized here. I am less sure that the Four Romantic Pieces really rise much above salon music, but they are at least melodic and charming, and again the Shahams make as convincing a case for them as I would have thought possible. The recording is superb; perfectly balanced, warm and spacious. In short, this is a disc to be recommended with all possible enthusiasm.