ROHAN DE SILVA (4-30-06) 

By Lawrence Budmen 

After four decades of concretizing around the globe, Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zukerman remain artistic paragons. Their stellar technique and probing musicality ennobled Moritz Moszkowskiís Suite for Two Violins in F Major, the thrilling climax of their joint recital on Sunday for the Concert Association.

Moszkowskiís score has long been considered a fine piece of salon music, and Perlman and Zukerman set a new standard for this work. 

Their richly burnished rubato and feathery lightness made the music emerge in a fresh light. The second movement waltz had the iridescent glow of romantic sentimentality. Perlman and Zukermanís bravura virtuosity and scintillating ťlan turned the Molto vivace finale into a high spirited tour de force of speed and precision. 

These artistsí joy in making music brought renewed life to even the most familiar works. Zukerman remains the elegant patrician while Perlman plays with an exuberant incisiveness that is infectious. 

The violinistsí approach to Bachís Sonata for Two Violins and Keyboard was unabashedly sensuous. Period instrument technique is not part of their artistic patina. The sonataís Largo was exquisite in blend and phrasing. A concluding Gigue danced off the strings with irrepressible vigor. 

Zukerman switched to viola for Mozartís Duo No.1 in G Major. Like Gil Shaham, Perlman and Zukerman bring high spirited abandon and silky tone to Mozartís string writing. Zukermanís dark, achingly beautiful viola sound captured the musicís aristocratic grace. The concluding Rondeau had an almost improvisatory freedom and daredevil brio that spelled musical gold. 

This dynamic duo stirred up dance like excitement in the decorative French Baroque strophes of the Giga in Jean Marie Leclairís Sonata in F Major. Bartokís duo Sadness was a gypsy lament, played with rhapsodic languor. 

Pianist Rohan De Silva is the supplest of accompanists and a stylistic chameleon. His light, finely gauged Bach, boldly romantic Moszkowski, and bright and witty Shostakovich encore were the epitome of versatility.

As an unaccompanied encore the Perlman-Zukerman duo offered a subtle, brilliantly accomplished version of the Handel-Halverson Passacaglia. They played this showpiece with glistening purity and a finely varied tonal palette. Here was artistry of the highest order.

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