The music of Gernsheim (1839-1916), respected and admired as a great teacher, has for too long been obscured by being in the shadow of Brahms and Schumann with which it was often compared. But Gernsheim's music is well able to stand on its own feet and in recent years has, happily, undergone a renaissance with several recordings, including his four beautiful symphonies. Brilliant Classics are to be congratulated for their enterprise with this premiere recording of the complete violin sonatas and other works in a 2CD release at a bargain price. They are all wonderful lyrical works, full of heartfelt, romantic passion as well as sadness at times. The piano part is every bit as important as the violin: it is a great partnership, which is what one experiences on this disc with Stefan and Andreas Kirpal who play superbly. Having lavished praise I am loathe to make any criticism given the joy of having these rare sonatas recorded at last. But I have to say, sadly, that the Brilliant Classics recording engineers did not quite match up to the quality of the performances. The recording balance favours the piano, sometimes at the expense of the violinist, who at times, in the aural image created, seems to be playing at the opposite side of the room to the pianist. This is a great shame. That said the criticism is outweighed by the pleasure of the music and no one need hesitate about buying these discs.
Friederich Gernsheim (1839 -1916) follows in the footsteps of Brahms in the German Romantic tradition. I love his symphonies (four,on Arte Nova, check them out). Fine playing, fine recording and at a low price. You can't go wrong!