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Double Play / Rachel Barton, Wendy Warner

Release Date: 10/01/1999 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 47   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Maurice RavelZoltán KodályBohuslav MartinuErwin Schulhoff
Performer:  Rachel Barton PineWendy Warner
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 13 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The musical communication between "childhood friends" Rachel Barton and Wendy Warner results in a natural, brilliantly effective dialog that illuminates Martinu's Duo, from the intensity of its first movement through the hurly-burly of its finale. Schulhoff 's complex Duo explores an even wider range of effects and expressive devices. And Barton and Warner, almost terrifyingly introspective in its first movement, expand to an exceedingly large scale in its finale. They grow appropriately austere in Ravel's Sonata, creating haunting spectral effects in its second movement. Kodály's Duo features the two instruments in a colorful, impassioned dialog that explores, if it does not exhaust, their tonal resources. Barton on the Read more 1617 ex-Lobkowitz Antonius and Hieronymous Amati, and Warner on a 1707 Joseph filius Andrea Guarneri, possess both power and warmth, serving up Kodály's ethnic gestures with all the dynamic bravura they demand.

Neither instrumentalist dominates the textures: Their partnership is a generous, equal one; and their timbres are ideally matched. Unfortunately, such perfectly calibrated effects and hand-in-glove accommodations to widely ranging styles often crowd out individuality, even humanity—so frequently, in fact, that it's hard not to regard a boffo recital like this one with a certain amount of suspicion. Happily, in this case, there's no justification for any kind of reservation. While both players are young and will certainly ripen in years to come, their collaboration already represents musicianship of mature insight, hair-raising electricity, and intense involvement. The engineers have cooperated with perfectly balanced recorded sound.

Not so intensely angular as Josef Gingold and Janos Starker in Kodály's Duo (Delos DE 1015), Barton and Warner still generate tumultuous power. In Ravel's Sonata, they bite sharply and provide brighter colors without wandering beyond the composer's austere tonal palette than did either Mikael Ericsson and Jana Vlachová (Pánton 71 0527-2) or Elvira and Alfia Bekova (Chandos CHAN 9452); and they're tonally more attractive than the Nash Ensemble (CRD 3446) in a similar performance and more subtle and nuanced than the Toth Duo (Eclectra ECCD-2036, Fanfare 23:3). But Ern? Sebestyen and Martin Ostertag's (Koch Schwann 3-1727-2 HI, 20:2) bracing reading provides an equally attractive alternative in Ravel's Sonata—as does their swashbuckling one of Kodály's Duo. Still, Cedille's document of a star duo should prove a satisfying way, for years to come, to acquire the 20th-century repertoire for violin and cello. As an example of collaboration, it's not easily superseded. Unhesitatingly recommended.

FANFARE: Robert Maxham
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Violin and Cello by Maurice Ravel
Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine (Violin), Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920-1922; France 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  WFMT Studios, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 19 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Duo for Violin and Cello, Op. 7 by Zoltán Kodály
Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine (Violin), Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1914; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  WFMT Studios, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 24 Minutes 55 Secs. 
Duo for Violin and Cello no 2, H 371 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Wendy Warner (Cello), Rachel Barton Pine (Violin)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Switzerland 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  WFMT Studios, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 10 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Duo for Violin and Cello by Erwin Schulhoff
Performer:  Rachel Barton Pine (Violin), Wendy Warner (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; Prague, Czech Republ 
Date of Recording: 12/1998 
Venue:  WFMT Studios, Chicago, Illinois 
Length: 17 Minutes 52 Secs. 

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