This is one of those discs you’d be tempted to overlook: seven works by seven different composers, most of them unknown (except for Villa-Lobos and Guarnieri), scored or arranged for violin and piano, and played (very well) by performers who aren’t exactly household names. I dismissed it initially, but that was a mistake. My close friend was curious and gave it a listen. He was hooked. “Play track three,” he insisted, and so I did (sound clip). I was hooked too. It just goes to show that you can’t judge a CD by its cover. You’ve got to listen. If only there were more hours in the day!
So, that delicious third track is the last of César Guerra-Peixe’s Three Pieces for Violin and Piano, and very fetching they are. The major works, though, are Guarnieri’s powerful Violin Sonata No. 4; a splendid transcription for violin and piano by these players of Léa Freire’s soulful Three Songs; Villa-Lobos’ curiously touching “The Martyrdom of Insects,” with a finale that gives The Flight of the Bumblebee a run for its money; and Ernani Aguiar’s inventive Meloritmias No. 4 for solo violin. The other pieces, Edmundo Villani-Côrtes’ “Clear Waters,” and Radamés Guattali’s “Night Flower,” would make terrific encores to any chamber music recital.
All that remains to be said is that violinist Francesca Anderegg and pianist Erika Ribeiro play all of this music with the same care and loving attention to detail that obviously went into choosing the program. You can audition the whole thing through at a sitting or take it in bits. Either way, you surely will enjoy this hour of vibrant, songful, alternately spiky and spicy music that’s consistently captivating and worth your attention. Fine sonics too. Thank you, Shawn.
– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz)