Music Web International March 2012: "With highly impressive playing, sound and presentation it is hard to find fault with this excellent release".
Robert Schumann's three Sonatas for violin and piano were all composed between 1851 and 1853. They – especially No.3 – have to some extent suffered from the same neglect and incomprehension that has been the fate of other works from this period in the composer's life, only a few years before he died in a mental institution. During the same years a number of other works for the violin saw the light, including the Violin Concerto and the Fantasy for violin and orchestra. The concertante works were written for the violinist Joseph Joachim, but it may have been a letter from Ferdinand David, concert master of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, that provided the initial impulse to compose chamber works for the violin: ‘I am uncommonly fond of your Fantasiestücke for piano and clarinet; why don’t you write something for violin and piano? … How splendid it would be if you could write something of that kind, that your wife and I could play for you.’ Here the performers are Ulf Wallin and Roland Pöntinen, a team who recorded their first disc for BIS in 1991, and whose partnership has been described as 'masterfully cultivated ensemble playing' on website ClassicsToday.com. Wallin's credentials in Schumann must also be regarded as firmly established, after his recently released recording of the violin concerto, the Fantasy and the arrangement for violin of the cello concerto. The reviewer in Daily Telegraph found it 'hard to imagine more sympathetic and insightful performances of these wonderful pieces’, and his colleague on the German website Klassik-Heute agreed, describing Wallin as 'violinistically brilliant and musically perceptive'