Simply referring to Moldovan Austrian violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and Russian pianist Polina Leschenko as musicians falls short of the mark. Forces of nature, laws unto themselves or iconoclasts might be more apt descriptors of the two, who made their Washington debut at the Phillips Collection on Sunday, playing Bartók, Enescu and Ravel from the 1920s and Poulenc from 1943.

The focus and blazing intensity of their musicmaking is incontestable. Kopatchinskaja and Les­chenko are both strong musical personalities, each with plenty to say and the technique to say it well. But together they achieve a rare ensemble cohesion, and it’s this sense of two minds and hearts in perfect accord that made their performance so exhilarating.

Both also are capable of producing, and almost revel in, ugly sounds on their instruments, though Leschenko may have had the edge here. Each piece seemed to feature at least one dedicated, largely gratuitous all-out assault on the piano.

Kopatchinskaja tends to float a musical idea in one of two ways. Either she insinuates herself around it and, by osmosis, gradually owns it, or she pounces on it, as though it were freshly delivered from its creator’s consciousness. All the while, Kopatchinskaja seems to commune with her violin, speaking to it, cajoling and consoling it.

The Bartók Second Sonata sounded at times more like a conglomeration of abstract sounds than musical discourse. Enescu’s Third Sonata, shot through with Romanian and Moldovan folk influences, is a specialty of Kopatchinskaja’s, and I doubt I’ll ever hear it more persuasively played. Ravel’s “Tzigane” was the most artistically satisfying performance in conventional terms.

If there was little room for repose or stylistic nicety, the music emerged with uncompromising integrity. When it was happening, nothing else mattered.