One is immediately struck by the excellence of the violin sound in the first sonata. … III also shows off Raff’s violinistic writing, with plenty of barriolage and octaves as well as engaging accompanimental material given to the violin, and Kayaleh does not shy from producing an original conception with plenty of slides. Raff is not a writer of melodies but is good at harmony and pacing. … In IV I caught glimpses of why I fell in love with the violin, courtesy of Kayaleh’s marvelous playing. … Raff’s run-on sentences can be difficult to navigate. The ease and bravado that Kayaleh displays as she deals with fiendishly difficult material in the developmental sections carry the performance. Most impressive of all might be how she manages to sound good playing those awkward high chords. … This is an excellent performance, particularly by Kayaleh, lifting average music into an elevated state. … it is a pleasure to hear the violin played so marvelously.
© 2020 American Record Guide
Laurence Kayaleh, violin & Jean-Fabien Schneider, piano – Joachim Raff : Complete Violin Sonatas, Vol. 1 (NAXOS Records 8.573841 – Sept. 2019)