- Sonata for violin & piano No. 10 in G major ("The Cockcrow"), Op. 96
- Sonata, for violin & piano No. 2 in E minor, Op. 36a, KiV 244
- Sonata for violin & keyboard No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016
Violinist Yuuko Shiokawa and pianist András Schiff are married, and in the midst of busy schedules have managed to record chamber music together. This one is their second for the ECM label, whose intimate sonics (the recording was made in a small auditorium in Lugano, Switzerland) serve them extremely well. It's difficult to pin down in words the groove that married couples find musically, but listening to these performances will give you an idea from the first bars of the Bach "Violin Sonata No. 3 in E major, BWV 1016": the two players have markedly different styles but make them fit together in a distinctive way. Sample any of the three movements and be delighted by the interaction between Shiokawa's gentle, rather delicate style and Schiff's propulsiveness (and by the rare chance these days to hear Bach played on a piano). The Beethoven "Violin Sonata No. 10 in G major, Op. 96," makes an ideal finale in this vein, dreamy and yet with that sense of the absolute that marks the late Beethoven -- an extraordinary performance. The elevation of Busoni to a sacred triptych of Bs does not quite come off: your mileage may vary, but the "Violin Sonata No. 2 in E minor, Op. 36a," is not a well-known work, and it can't decide whether it wants to be late Romantic, neoclassic, or nationalistic. Still, a lovely souvenir of one of classical music's enduring marital partnerships, with engineering that really shows you how it's done.