These gentlemen hit it out of the ballpark with this release; as Bailey said, they “really caught the comet’s tail....” It’s Bailey’s first recording with Pratt, though they’ve been playing together since 1998, and it’s the first made in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s new studio; Elaine Martone and Robert Woods were the producers. The sound is intimate, rich, and flattering; every note is clear, yet nothing is conspicuous (though much breathing is audible). Bailey approaches the sonatas with a singer’s spirit, and the resulting lyricism is perfectly complemented by the song transcriptions—“Lerchengesang,” the opener, and “Wie Melodien” are treasures. The arrangement of the Sonatensatz, Brahms’s contribution to the violin sonata composed with Schumann and Albert Dietrich, is played with more fire than humor. The E Minor Sonata’s second movement is elegant and caring, like a couple who can still find gentle things to say as they waltz, even after 30 years together. The Adagio of the F Major has one of the most romantic melodies Brahms ever wrote. The rubatos and phrasing are convincing— nothing is overdone, Bailey’s tone is mellifluous, and the ensemble impeccable.