Brahms at His Most Appealing

There's much to savour here thanks to some very fine performances.

Composer: Brahms
Repertoire: Complete Violin Sonatas
Artists: Nikolaj Znaider (violin), Yefim Bronfman (piano)
Rating: 3/5

Genre: Instrumental
Label: RCA Red Seal 706106

The three violin sonatas are Brahms at his most appealing. Sure enough, these two fine performers here sound like pigs in clover – not in any self-indulgent sense, but I did catch myself thinking that playing this CD straight through is almost too much of a rich lyrical feast. Take each sonata separately, then, and savour the warmth, depth and command of Bronfman’s accompaniments (does any pianist around today produce a finer, more rounded sound?). There’s formidable violin playing too: while Znaider is sometimes a touch over-sophisticated, his sense of non-stop involvement convinces strongly.