If anything justifies braving this awful winter weather, the Kennedy Center's Terrace Concerts do. Saturday night at the Terrace Theater the Bolivian violinist Jaime Laredo played a rich variety of works, all of them marvelously. He was accompanied by pianist Samuel Sanders.
He opened with Stravinsky's "Suite Italienne," one of three chamber transcriptions the composer fashioned from his ballet "Pulcinella." Laredo's tone was cool but never detached, with a crystalline long line and legato that an ice skater would have envied. And even in the most maddeningly fast tarantella, his phrasing was accurate and crisp.
There is nothing diminutive about Schubert's Sonatina in G minor, Op. 37, No. 3; its lyricism is almost too somber for the teen-aged composer, and its scope is heroic. Sanders, who was generously self-effacing in the Stravinsky, was heroic and grand here. And so was Laredo, from the aggressive opening through the unexpected portamenti at the close. The pair also made the most of the jazzy impatience of Ravel's Sonata in G major and the voluptuousness of Bartok's Sonata No. 2 for violin and piano.
Laredo then lavished charm and virtuosity on three short works by Fritz Kreisler, the Jacqueline Susann of violin literature. Throughout "La Gitana" and the famous "Liebeslied" and "Liebesfreud," Laredo's flash was never empty or embarrassed. There seemed to be nothing he could not do with his violin, and he did it all in wonderful fun.