This is really splendid! . . . this new set of Beethoven's complete works in the same genre, generously annotated and very attractively packaged, belongs among the very best available . . . Before two seconds have elapsed you know that these performances will have all of the fire, passion, and spontaneity that Beethoven ideally requires . . . the very clear recording allows every detail of Pires' playing to be heard . . . this is chamber music playing of the first order, and a major contribution to the Beethoven discography -- a set to be savored and enjoyed many times over.
For the past half century, Deutsche Grammphon has released roughly one cycle of Beethoven's violin sonatas per decade . . . While each of theses cycles boasts unquestionable virtues, all are markedly surpassed by the extraordinary standard set by violinist Augustin Dumay and pianist Maria Joao Pires in this new set . . . the artists talk of how their interpretations are the net result of more than five years of intensive preparation and rehearsal. It shows. Each performance reveals levels of ensemble refinement, attention to detail, dramatic momentum, and emotional intensity that make many other recordings of these works sound generalized in comparison . . . In all a landmark release, that reveals more with each hearing, and is likely to be the reference edition of Beethoven's violin sonatas for years to come.
Beautifully balanced and recorded, displaying time and again an instinctive empathy between two great players, she set surely ranks with Grumiaux and Haskil, Menuhin and Kempff, or Perlman and Ashkenazy . . . Theses are performances in which nearly every phrase, every change of harmony, has a lived expressive meaning . . . Though Pires's discography is immensely distinguished she has surely done nothing finer than her partnership here with Dumay. A wonderful set which enhances the stature of even the most familiar among these sonatas. Superlatives fail me.
Maria João Pires has built a solid international reputation, mostly on highly regarded recordings of Mozart . . . the sound has a stunning, lifelike presence . . . Dumay's tone has lost none of its beauty . . . Dumay is an absolute Master of using changes in tone color as an expressive device . . . In op. 30/1, the interplay between instruments is again perfect, and Dumay plays some of the most gorgeous violin diminuendos you will ever hear . . . Grab it while it's still in print.
Ein perfekt abgestimmtes Duospiel.
Makelloses Zusammenspiel in allen flinken Unisono-Passagen, Übereinstimmung in den lyrischen Phrasierungen ("Frühlingssonate"), gelöste Virtuosität in den Schikanen der "Kreutzersonate" -- dies und vieles mehr zeichnet diese Gesamtaufnahme aus, die auch hinsichtlich der Aufnahmetechnik keinen Wunsch offen lässt.
Leur dialogue est donc le fruit d'une longue maturation. D'une sonate à l'autre, le discours de la pianiste pourrait être qualifié d'idéal. Pur et inègre, sans la moindre envolée concertante, dense et réfléchi, admirablement concentré comme subtilement timbré, il ne peut que susciter une admiration sans réserve . . . Une belle réalisation, souvent exaltante, admirable côté clavier.