, JAN. 2015

WHEN THE VIOLIN SOARS  - 4 STARTS - ++++ Insightful and captivating, the performances of three Schubert sonatas by Tomas Cotik and Tao Lin. True, some performances make the violin works seem rather superficial, their performance difficulties relatively arbitrary, their undoubted tunefulness less at the service of pervasive lyricism than in other Schubert pieces. What Cotik and Lin do so well on a new Centaur CD is to show that these impressions are in fact performance-related rather than inherent in the music. These three posthumously published sonatas – for whose recording Cotik is producer as well as performer – sing beautifully here...what Cotik and Lin show is that even these comparatively straightforward, unproblematic pieces sound wonderful in the right hands and with the right sensitivity to period performance style – which is here in abundance...rather than turn their performances into mannered or straitlaced readings, those studies seem to have inspired both violinist and pianist to genuinely involving encounters with this unfairly neglected music. The result is exhilarating music-making, with all the accoutrements of encountering previously unknown works and the rather startling realization that these sonatas are not at all unknown – they are just not known to be as good, as effective and as musically and emotionally satisfying as they are here. Read More