This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.
Notes and Editorial Reviews
Mozart's sonatas for piano and violin have always fared pretty well at the hands of the record companies, and they have shown renewed interest in them in the last six months or so. Recent issues have included the first two installments of a projected complete recording by the veteran American-born Russian violinist Oscar Shumsky, with Artur Balsam (ASV ALH930, 9/83; ALH944, 2/84). Now, from DG, we have a recital of four of the earlier sonatas by Itzhak Perlman and Daniel Barenboim, no less.
As it happens, this new LP very nearly duplicates the programme of Shumsky's and Balsam's first, being devoted to four of the six sonatas that Mozart had published in Paris in November 1778 (with a dedication to the wife of Carl Theodor,
Elector Palatine) as his Op. I (!)—K 301-3/293o-c, written in Mannheim early in 1778, and K304/ 300c written in Paris a few months later. The difference is that Shumsky and Balsam give us five sonatas and in more strictly chronological order, including K305/293d in A and K296 in C (both composed while Mozart was still in Mannheim) but omitting K304/300c. The four sonatas that Perlman and Barenboim give us are all in two movements only (a sonata-form movement, followed by a rondo or by a Tempo di Menuetto), but they display remarkable originality and variety within such an apparently restricted format; they also include one of the most hauntingly beautiful of all Mozart's sonatas in the shape of K304 in E minor.
It is marvellous to hear two such great artists as Barenboim and Perlman in these modest, but by no means inconsiderable sonatas. Their teamwork is impeccable and is emphasized by the balanced roundness of DG's recording, which presents the two instruments as absolutely equal partners. Comparison with the Balsam/Shumsky LP reveals, on occasion, a touch more spontaneity in the latter and a recording that—for historically and musi cally justifiable reasons—is inclined to favour the piano at the expense of the violin; but the new DG issue offers playing of quite exceptional quality, and I hope very much that it will prove to be the first of yet another integral recording of Mozart's works for piano and violin.
-- Gramophone [4/1984]
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