Avoiding the showmanship and outward virtuosity often associated with brilliant composer-performers, George Enescu’s Second Violin Sonata marked his true emergence as a composer. Violinist Carl Flesch referred to it as one of the most significant in the history of the genre. The Impromptu concertant is amongst the most raptly expressive of violin ‘test’ pieces, and the Sonata ‘Torso’ paved the way towards the harmonic expansion of Enescu’s later work. The most renowned of his works for violin and piano, the Third Violin Sonata explores the essence of Romanian folk-music in an outpouring of sustained emotional power.
"These are the finest readings of hese sonatas that I have heard aside from the recordings that Enesco himself made with Dinu Lippatti in 1943... Strauss and Poletaev obviously relish this music. It’s always a pleasure to listen to musicians who sound like they’re having the time of their lives playing for you. Struass draws a full, lush tone from whatever violin he is playing here, probably his 1845; and Poletaev is a powerful, colorful pianist... Very good sound ..."
Joeseph Magil - American Record Guide - March/April 2014
"... Enescu’s Third ...has been recorded many times and with its combination of fearsome technical challenge, exotic Eastern European accent and perfect proportions it is not hard to hear why. Strauss and Poletaev prove formidable exponents of its many charms ... Naxos’s sound is clear ..."
"...This is good stuff for Enescu lovers!"
"Axel Strauss ... and Ilya Poletaev ...play this music with an emotional thrust and exultant cantabile that are highly compelling. The recording is well balanced and physically imposing."
Julian Haylock - The Strad magazine - October 2013