Three strains of Romanticism are brought together on this latest album by Joshua Bell and Jeremy Denk.
Saint-Saëns' "Sonata in D minor" opens in a turbulent manner which is supplanted by the diverse charms of the middle sections, before Bell attacks the will o' the wisp final movement with a featherlight string of 16th notes that's quite dazzling. The album's impressionistic theme is more directly realised in Franck's "Sonata in A major", whose piano intro establishes the piece as a play between light and shade. Ravel's "Sonata for Violin and Piano" completes the programme, its most notable idiosyncrasy being the unusual blues influence on the second movement, where piano provides a firm pulse over which the violin slurs, flats and barks like a blues singer.
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