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Fantasy / Angela Chun, Jennifer Chun

Release Date: 01/08/2008 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi   Catalog #: 907444   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Dmitri ShostakovichDarius MilhaudIsang YunBohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Angela ChunNelson PadgettJennifer Chun
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Back Order: Usually ships in 2 to 3 weeks.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

It's been a long time since a violin-centered chamber music recording, owing to its compelling performers and intriguing repertoire, called out so demandingly from its package, "Play me! Play me!" Since the concertos of the 18th century, works (especially substantial ones) that feature two violins have been very rare, and the few that have been written, including those on this program, all from the 20th century, have been nearly neglected on recordings. You also could say that a "violin duo" is unheard-of (the dearth of repertoire being one reason--unlike for the piano, for instance), but that hasn't stopped these two sisters, Angela and Jennifer Chun, who already have made quite
Read more an impression internationally, winning awards and dazzling audiences since graduating from Juilliard and debuting at Carnegie Hall.

Both the Martinu and Milhaud pieces are major, virtuoso works that demand equally from violinists and pianist. The Milhaud flirts with elements of the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel while asserting its own melodic voice(s), including a supportive but boldly independent role for the piano. And speaking of assertive, Martinu's Sonatina pulls no punches regarding the violins' presence; this is music that gives its performers great material--edgy, idiomatic, its fast movements relentlessly energetic--and calls on the players to run freely with it. It's the kind of music that virtuoso performers love, and these three certainly revel in the many technical challenges while maintaining consistently taut, uniformly expressive ensemble.

Amid the Martinu and Milhaud, the three Shostakovich duets--"arrangements by Lev Atovmyan of excerpts from the composer's works for stage and film"--seem extremely light and perhaps inconsequential, but at the same time they project a natural charm that proves especially appealing in this context, a pleasing foil to the studied, rigorous, tonally ambiguous, extended single-movement works by South Korean composer Isang Yun (1917-1995). Throughout, you are focused as much or more on the virtuosity of the playing as on the music itself, and yet we find ourselves grateful for the exposure given by the amazing Chuns and their piano partner Nelson Padgett to such appealing works from this barely-known genre. The sound is rightfully close and intimate, vibrant and room-filling. Highly recommended!

--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Duets (3) for 2 Violins and Piano by Dmitri Shostakovich
Performer:  Angela Chun (Violin), Nelson Padgett (Piano), Jennifer Chun (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USSR 
Length: 2 Minutes 27 Secs. 
Sonata for 2 Violins and Piano, Op. 15 by Darius Milhaud
Performer:  Angela Chun (Violin), Nelson Padgett (Piano), Jennifer Chun (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; France 
Length: 6 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Pezzo Fantasioso by Isang Yun
Performer:  Nelson Padgett (Piano), Angela Chun (Violin), Jennifer Chun (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988 
Length: 10 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Sonatina for 2 Violins by Isang Yun
Performer:  Jennifer Chun (Violin), Angela Chun (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 13 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Sonatina for 2 Violins and Piano by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Angela Chun (Violin), Jennifer Chun (Violin), Nelson Padgett (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930; France 

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