- Sonata for violin & piano, L. 140
- Sonata for violin solo, Sz. 117, BB 124 (edited by Yehudi Menhuin)
- Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in G major
Although French violinist David Grimal had recorded some works from the French violin repertoire prior to the release of this 2006 disc, his coupling here of Debussy and Ravel's sonatas may do more for his international reputation than his recording of Bach's complete sonatas and partitas. The reason is straightforward: while Grimal is clearly a first-rate virtuoso who can handle anything Bach throws at him either technically or interpretively, he is just as clearly more in sympathy with the French repertoire than with the German repertoire. His Debussy sonata is filled with energy and a warm Gallic radiance that illuminates the score. His Ravel is filled with lucidity and a cool Gallic luminosity that irradiates the score. And, most importantly, he understands the idiom, knows where to put the accents, how to phrase the lines, and how to move the rhythms so that the music sounds more like poetry than prose. Ably accompanied by the stylish French pianist Georges Pludermacher, Grimal's Debussy and Ravel sonatas are as good as it gets in the repertoire. Unfortunately, one cannot quite say the same thing about his performance of Bartók's "Sonata for solo violin." While Grimal is obviously on top of the notes, he is just as obviously not under the notes; his accents seem misplaced, his lines seem misshapen, and his rhythms seem misjudged. Still, for his Debussy and Ravel sonatas, Grimal's recital deserves to be heard by anyone who relishes great French violin playing. Naïve's sound is very vivid but a bit too close.