This is a powerful release--music for two violins performed by the mighty force that is Alexandr Bulov and Ilya Gringolts. Their performance of Duetti per Due Violini, a piece Luciano Berio wrote for violin students of many levels of ability, is the opposite of pedestrian. These two artists show how to take etudes, single monochromatic musical panels all focusing on a specific notion or problem, and make them sexy. This is a complete composition rather than a set of disconnected pieces, and from the opening notes Bulov and Gringolts take it very seriously, finding the variety Berio composed into this work. From the blinding power of the Tremolo velocissimo in the movement called Eduardo (No. 20) to theirRead more rendition of the sound of a distant accordion in Aldo (No. 23) or the glittering harmonics in Lele (No. 34, the work's final movement), this duo offers an artistic and technical range far beyond any ordinary twosome: at times it functions like a single powerhouse instrument; at others the two players seem to span out to achieve the sound of an entire string orchestra. Bulov and Gringolts also attack the final movement of Denisov's Sonata for Two Violins with both aggression and precision, each note clear and audible in the fierce textures. In the Andante movement they manage the work's beautiful slow-building arch with grace and poise. Their superior performances of both pieces are aided by excellent sound quality--presumably their instruments were closely recorded using several microphones each, giving the recording both its intimacy and gusto. [12/24/2002]--Daniel Felsenfeld, ClassicsToday.com Read less
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