This is a voyage of discovery for me,' says Rachel Podger as she moves on from award-winning Bach and Vivaldi to embark on a complete cycle of Mozart's violin sonatas. This first disc in the series offers four from the early, middle and late periods - C major KV6, B flat major KV378, G major KV379 and F major KV547 - in which Podger's youth and Baroque experience combine to bring a charm and freshness of approach which suit these delightful pieces perfectly. With sympathetic support from the equally youthful Gary Cooper, this promises to be a cycle well worth following. Anthony Holden, Sunday November 21, 2004 The Observer
“This is Volume 1 of a complete set, and the series certainly gets off to a cracking start. The recording gives the fortepiano (an Adlam copy of a 1795 Anton Walther instrument) a full, rich, sound; the balance with the violin is excellent – it's as though we're listening in a small but resonant room.
The noble introductory Adagio of K379 sounds wonderfully colourful, and is followed by an unusually passionate, intense performance of the Sonata's G minor Allegro. It's taken at a faster tempo than usual, and we're persuaded to think of it as a worthy forerunner of the great G minor works to come. It's the CD's high point, perhaps, but the first two movements of K378 run it close; the opening Allegro moderato is spacious, flexible and expressive, and the second movement warm and sensuous.
Gary Cooper plays with considerable freedom, often spreading chords to soften their impact or for extra expressiveness, and ornamenting repeated passages most imaginatively.
Rachel Podger doesn't generally ornament her part; her accompaniments are unforced and flow easily, and she enjoys taking the lead, playing boldly yet with sensitivity.
Mozart's first sonata, K6, begun when he was six, is a lively piece, but you'd never guess the composer. And K547, intended as an educational piece, has nothing of the expressive depth of the other late sonatas. But Cooper and Podger's playing remains suited to the music's character, unaffectedly bringing out its charm and vitality.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
“A beautifully handled recording with a sense of intimacy so appropriate to the music. Here are players working as a real partnership, bouncing ideas off each other and having fun in the experience of making music.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2005