Fazil Say's dynamic pianism has created quite a buzz, and his version of these two warhorses helps explain why. There's little anyone can add to what Richter, Gilels, Argerich, and others have revealed about the Tchaikovsky, but Say's flawless playing, big technique, and fetching sonorities are welcome. He rises to the big moments, of course, but he's best at conveying the poetry of a score whose proponents too often wallow in bombast…–Dan Davis
The young and trendy duo of Moldavian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Turkish pianist Fazil Say rips deliriously into a highly enterprising program as if tomorrow were a chancy affair. It’s more than their hearts that they wear on their sleeves; they lay out their emotional guts in a dazzling display of virtuosity and breathtaking musical entertainment. At one moment in Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata, Kopatchinskaja’s racing along, clipping eighth notes in a furious rush to the finish; at the next she’s finding aphrodisiacal sweetness in a simple, two-bar ritardando. Say follows a pounding accompaniment with a phrase of sudden elegance worthy of the slow movement of the “Emperor” Concerto. In Bartók’s six “Romanian Folk Dances,” Kopatchinskaja sometimes rips her pizzicati with destructive force, sometimes plucks lyrically with wonderfully expressive grace. Perhaps she doesn’t throw off Ravel’s pretty little Sonata with enough casual cool, but in Say’s 13-minute Violin Sonata, she captures all the magic of its moonlit beauty.