Pianist Andre'-Michel Schub and violinist Charles Treger share the same predilection for clarity, and their collaboration at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater last night was a model of articulation and nimbleness. Under Schub's fleet fingers the piano gave off bell-like sounds. Lines danced rather than sang, and projected grace rather than passion. Treger's bowing technique, economical and well honed, produced a weightless tone capable of all sorts of acrobatics.
They played sonatas by Debussy, Faure' and Beethoven with a well-groomed alacrity and attention to detail that revealed no particularly poetic insights but did produce a good deal of pleasant, easygoing listening. They played the Debussy Sonata in G minor with a light touch that allowed the music to float by, its colors constantly changing and its textures beautifully balanced. The Faure' Sonata in A, No. 1, with its emotional idiom, sounded a little dry and perhaps inhibited. Schub and Treger seem to expend emotional energy while playing, but direct it more to their techniques than to the music.
The concert ended with a rhythmically incisive performance of the Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata, that found the duo at its best in the considerable demands of the variation movement.