These are good performances, but are far from the greatest. Perlman is a fantastic violinist without question; he can play anything he wants to, and do it flawlessly. Just listen to him whip through Paganini's caprices like it's a walk in the park. Ashkenazy is a fine pianist and able collaborator, even if he isn't my favorite. However, this recording is a bit over-the-top in terms of the schmaltz-factor. The music is already sufficiently heartfelt, and does not require any additional help from the performers to drive this point home. The playing style, likewise, is a bit affected and self-conscious.
Anyways, enough negative stuff. The 3 sonatas are played remarkably well, with a great deal of virtuosity, perfect intonation and excellent collaboration throughout. I may not LIKE the way they play, but I cannot deny the technical mastery of these works from the musicians displayed on this disc. Those that enjoy the use of portamento (and slightly excessive rubato) will thoroughly enjoy these readings. For me, my personal favorite renditions of the sonatas are Suk/Katchen on Decca Originals and Schneiderhan/Seeman on DG Originals. Suk and Katchen give a relaxed reading on par with this disc in terms of tempi, but with a more straightforward reading (Suk was well-schooled in the Brahmsian school, being related to Brahms' close friend Dvorak, and features a robust, slightly rosiny tone consistent with the Czech school of violin playing). The Schneiderhan-Seeman collaboration is a relentless, intense reading featuring quicker tempos than either of the aforementioned sets, and a steely, iron-fisted and thoroughly Germanic interpretation from violinist Schneiderhan, and is my absolute favorite. In my opinion this set most closely matches the music.
In all...a very good CD, and a fine choice, but there are better sets available. You should get all 3 discs if your budget can handle it.