BEETHOVEN Die 10 Violinsonaten Kremer 4470582

Kremer and Argerich understand the bright buoyancy of the Op. 12 triptych, in which the music flows along crisply yet flexibly, with brisk tempos and sharply defined dynamics: there is charm here as well as the necessary energy. I confess to longstanding slight reservations about this violinist's sweet yet wiry tone and the way he sometimes shapes and shades a phrase; but make no mistake, he is totally assured and his partnership with the equally authoritative Argerich offers much to admire and enjoy. The finale of the First Sonata, a dancing rondo in 6/8, shows their boldness and bounce to advantage - and the same is true of the witty first movement of No. 2, in the same metre but more teasing in character. Slow movements, sometimes in variation form, also characteristically speak with elegance and eloquence while scherzos have point and vitality. This latter characteristic also marks the Presto first movement of the A minor Sonata, No. 4, unusually vigorous here, with Argerich in tigerish mood. Though this duo mostly know when to persuade and relax, with such strong players the interpretative temperature is inevitably on the high side.