In the 41 - year gap between these two sonatas Fauré, increasingly beset by deafness, withdrew into a more private, recondite world all his own. The Second, in consequence, has never enjoyed the popularity of the First—and in fact was conspicuous by its absence from the CD catalogue until this welcome new release. Collectors may recall that when Lydia Mordkovitch and Gerhard Oppitz recorded the First for Chandos they preferred to couple it with Richard Strauss's early Sonata in E flat. Comparison of the two teams in the A major Sonata, Op. 13, leaves me in no doubt that the newcomers would be my first choice. In saying that, I don't want to underestimate Mordkovitch. But with her fine-spun, silken tone and sensitively tapered phrasing she is far too often overpowered by Oppitz, who in the resonant acoustic of St Luke's Church, Chelsea, emerges not only too loud but also rather too often the victim of his own over-generously used right pedal. The Cologne venue accorded to Mintz and Bronfman is kinder: though anything but timid Bronfman preserves far greater textural clarity, and never allows his piano to outweigh Mintz's violin unless at the composer's own behest.(Gramophone, 1/1988)
Yefim Bronfman has a special affinity for these two concerti, a nearly selfless approach to the scores that keeps in mind that while the piano may be the solo instrument and provide key lines for the 'accompanying' orchestra to elucidate, the same relationship belongs to the orchestra when Rachmaninov introduced melodies in the orchestration that are then embraced with ardor by the piano soloist.
Veteran tenor-saxophonist Dexter Gordon welcomed trumpeter Freddie Hubbard to his recording group several times during his career and each collaboration was quite rewarding. For this Prestige studio set the two horns (who are joined by pianist Cedar Walton, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Billy Higgins) work together quite well on "Milestones" (a second version is included as a bonus track), "Scared to Be Alone," Thelonious Monk's "We See" and Gordon's "The Group." This CD should please collectors.
In another highly distinguished collaboration, the legendary Isaac Stern and Yefim Bronfman perform Mozart s mature violin sonatas over four CDs. Recorded in 1993 4, several years after the pair first collaborated, the sonatas demonstrate their excellent rapport (Gramophone) in these delicate works. Bronfman and Stern take an approach … that veers toward neither confection nor meat and potatoes, settling rather on a Mozart who is both graceful and tastefully muscular, wrote Classical.net of the third volume.
Issued to celebrate Esa-Pekka Salonen’s time with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (he is now their first ever conductor laureate), this valuable disc really points us to how important Salonen may be seen one day as a composer. Although he reputedly sees his conducting activities as bill-paying ones, he is nevertheless ultra-high profile (he is presently principal conductor and artistic advisor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra).