Similar programs of virtuoso music for violin and piano have been offered before, but usually not with the greater variety of including works also with the cello, and usually not all works of a single composer such as Ravel. Besides being a more original approach, this fine effort from Down Under sports fiery interpretations of great skill from its three young performers, state-of-the-art hi-res surround sonics, and beautiful packaging which includes a bound-in 34-page illustrated booklet of notes.
Both the gypsy-flavored Tzigane and the variations on Hebrew melodies illustrate Ravel’s openness to extra-musical influences. Winther really tears into the gypsy rhapsody with gusto - more than I’ve heard from any other recording of the work. The overheated strings settle down a bit for the more staid violin-piano sonata. The Sonata for violin and cello is infrequently heard but it is a lovely work in four movements and brings the exciting album to a grand conclusion. Throughout all the works the preciseness and perfection of Ravel’s composing technique shines forth, even during the most vehement and emotional passages.