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Classical Music Review

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In Tandem
Solos & Duos


Composers: Lee Actor, Peter Greve, Steven A. Kennedy, Sidney Bailin and Allen Brings
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 May 2019

Navona Records releases the compilation album In Tandem: Solos & Duos, a collection of works by various composers including Lee Actor, Peter Greve, Steven A. Kennedy, Sidney Bailin and Allen Brings...

The album opens with Lee Actor’s 'Duo for Violin and Cello', which won the Eva Thompson Phillips Award for Composition in 1979. It's a short, textured, and powerful piece. Contrasting with this minimal violin-cello duo, Peter Greve’s 'Aria' is slow and expansive.

The sonata 'Marian', by Steven Kennedy, focuses on the life of Jesus Christ, interpreted through the grace of the violin and piano. The four pieces in this work explore Christ’s beginnings ('Advent l’enfant'), his walk to the cross ('Lento Doloroso'), the thunderous early stages of the movement of his tomb ('Resurrectio'), and finally the arrival of the Holy Spirit ('Jubilatio Spiritu').

Sidney Bailin's jazz infused 'Blue Plea', for clarinet, is influenced by the 2nd movement of Brahms's 'Clarinet Quintet'. And finally, Allen Brings’s 'Duo for Flute and Piano', closes the album with three movements. Echoing some of the themes of J.S. Bach’s inventions, the flute and piano create a relationship that is at once contentious and allied.

It's impressive how intricate and rich these compositions all sound, considering the limited use of instruments. It's a release that you'll need to spend a little time with to really appreciate its finer points.

Track listing:

Lee Actor
01 - Duo for Violin and Cello (6:51)
Vit Mužík (violin), Petr Nouzovský (cello)

Peter Greve
02 - Aria (4:54)
Ondřej Jurčeka (trumpet), Karel Martínek (organ)

Steven A. Kennedy
Marian Sonata for Violin and Piano
Vít Mužík (violin), Lucie Kaucká (piano)
03 - Advent l’enfant (2:58)
04 - Lento Doloroso (6:32)
05 - Resurrectio (3:34)
06 - Jubillatio Spiritu (4:11)

Sidney Bailin
07 - Blue Plea (6:45)
Sauro Berti (bass-clarinet)

Allen Brings
Duo for flute and piano
Christopher Morrison (flute), Stephanie Watt (piano)
08 - First Movement (5:02)
09 - Second Movement (5:23)
10 - Third movement (3:32)


Darren Rea

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