“"This young British duo are natural Mozartians, phrasing discerningly, summoning plenty of temperament
when required, yet never over-egging the pudding when the composer is in guileless vein... the
players responding creatively to each other’s phrasing.” BBC Music Magazine
“The most poignant music here is the two-movement E minor Sonata (K304) that Mozart wrote in Paris not long after his mother died, a piece much beloved of Arthur Grumiaux and Clara Haskil, who recorded and played the work in recital. Rachel Podger and Gary Cooper also make a fine job of it, a more expansive one than we usually hear. Not that their tempi are anything less than well chosen: the extra length originates in their choice to repeat both halves of the first movement. Cooper's playing at the start of the Minuet second movement is both delicate and elegant whereas the muted, ethereal sound both players conjure for the centre of K9's finale is remarkable. The galant early D major Sonata (K29) shows JC Bach's influence and the vividly orchestrated colouring of this Podger-Cooper rendition seems to underline that influence. Cooper's tendency to expressively desynchronise chords, in parts of K302's Rondeau, for example, is very appealing.
The really big event musically speaking is the magnificent A major work (K526), the last but one of Mozart's violin sonatas; the first movement is as extrovert as it is inventive (especially in terms of its varied rhythmic emphases), the slow movement one of Mozart's finest – a justified prompt for both players to favour an almost operatic approach. Podger in particular adjusts and alters her tone projection more effectively and expressively than most period players do.
Most attractive is the duo's relative freedom, their refusal to be bound by bar-lines: there's an appealing fluidity about their playing. Add excellent sound, and the recommendation is clinched.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“Podger in particular adjusts and alters her tone projection more effectively and expressively than most period players do. I also like the duo's relative freedom, their refusal to be bound by bar-lines: there's an appealing fluidity about their playing. Add excellent sound, and the recommendation is clinched.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2007