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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Music for Violin & Viola, Mozart - Bruch - Pleyel, Davide Alogna, Jose Adolfo Alejo
The Duo CD features a nice mix of music from classical to modern times. Mozart's 15 minute "String Duo in G K423" sets the stage nicely, followed by Martinu's "Duo No. 1 H313," Spohr's 22 minute"Grand Duo, op. 13," Manuel Ponce's 14 minute Spanish tinged "Sonata a Duo" and John Halvorsen's classical-modern "Passacaglia on a Theme by Handel."
The various periods and styles are well in hand with a nice blending and lively expression by the two virtuosos. It is interesting to hear how each composer situates melody and figuration to create an individual fullness and balance of ranges, and for how the two artists create a balanced articulation between figure and ground or polyphonic totality, depending.
The concerted CD features two relatively obscure and one well known example. Pleyel's "Symphonie Concertante in B flat B112" has plenty of classical dash, Bruch's "Double Concerto in B minor, Op. 88" rachets up the expressive temperature a few notches in a post-Beethovian manner, and Mozart's "Sinfonia Concertante in E flat K364" has a near perfection in form and inspiration that justifies its iconic status. Alogna and Alejo give us an almost reverent reading and the Camerata de Coahuia sound convincing and on the mark, as they do throughout.
In the end we have a wealth of wonderful showcases for violin and viola, played with the emphasis on faithful and spirited execution.