Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim's recordings of Mozart's violin sonatas, now reissued as a four-CD set, come highly recommended. As one would expect from such a celebrated partnership, these are performances of supreme vitality and refinement, Perlman's radiant tone and technical finesse amply matched by Barenboim's limpid and sparkling piano textures. The pair's concern for achieving elegance and purity is always matched by their warmth.
The Sonata in B flat, K378, embodies much of what gives these recordings their freshness. The opening Allegro moderato is incisive, the middle movement Andantino understated, while the sparkling rondo finale is blissfully light, Perlman and Barenboim's virtuosic musicianship never more apparent than in the brilliant clarity of their racing semiquavers. Throughout the four discs, the melting beauty of the slow movements, too, is remarkable, in particular the finely etched Andantino cantabile of K306, in D, and the tender charm of the Andante from the late K526, in A.
© BBC Music Magazine 2000
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