Pas de Deux brings together a collection of their favourite works which they have performed together over the last two years. Ravel’s ‘Sonata for Violin and Cello, à la memoire de Claude Debussy’ is the only piece on the disc already firmly established in the repertoire for this combination, and the duo has used this work as their “kaleidoscope” for the recording, “a looking glass that takes us both back and forward in time, and both of those simultaneously”.
The result – a highly exciting disc of music for violin and cello – contains several works by leading living composers, as well as music by Debussy, Ravel, Sibelius and Piazzolla. Daniel and Maja have really enjoyed working closely with Pēteris Vasks, Krzysztof Penderecki, Giovanni Sollima, Craig White and Marcelo Nisinman in the lead up to this release, and feel privileged to be including several world premiere recordings.
Daniel and Maja write:
We are extremely excited to present this new recording, made last September with a world class team at beautiful Potton Hall in England for the wonderful Dutch label Challenge Records. Besides the celebrated sonata by Maurice Ravel the record includes no fewer than five world premiere recordings, something we are very proud of. Working with living composers such us Penderecki, Vasks, Sollima and Nisinman is incredibly inspiring and we believe this disc shows and celebrates the rich spectrum of music of today: spiritual, deeply moving, highly virtuosic, provocative, sensual, funny and sometimes brilliantly crazy!
They are particularly thrilled to have made world premiere recordings of Vasks’s ‘Castillo Interior’ and Sollima’s ‘Heimat Terra’, as well as Nisinman’s ‘Die Albträume des Todes’ and Craig White’s arrangement of Debussy’s ‘La sérénade interrompue’, these latter two written specially for the duo.
Daniel has often worked with virtuoso bandoneonist Marcelo Nisinman as part of the tango quintet ChamberJam, and Nisinman’s works are deeply infused by the world of tango. He composed ‘Die Albträume des Todes’ after Daniel and Maja invited him to write something for the duo, and they premiered the piece at the Stiftfestival 2019 in the Netherlands, where Daniel is Artistic Director. Pianist Craig White is also a close friend of the duo, and he arranged ‘La sérénade interrompue’ (no. 9 from Debussy’s first book of Préludes) especially for this disc.
Pēteris Vasks’s ‘Castillo Interior’ has been a key piece of repertoire for the duo, featuring in many of their performances, including live on Dutch TV programme Podium Witteman, as well as in a beautiful video filmed by the lake in Kuhmo, Finland. Having got to know Vasks’s music through his violin concerto ‘Distant Light’ and solo cello work ‘Das Buch’, they were invited to a festival in Denmark where he would be composer in residence. They had the pleasure of working on ‘Castillo Interior’ with him there, and said that they were “moved by his warmth, humanity and deep kindness”. ‘Castillo Interior’ and the other works on this disc will continue to be part of their repertoire for future performances, including at their upcoming concert with Natacha Kudritskaya for the London Chamber Music Society at Kings Place on 11th October 2020. You can also catch them this Sunday when they return to Dutch TV programme Podium Witteman for another live performance, this time in Marietta’s song by Korngold, with Tim Brackman, Benjamin Roskams and Caspar Vos.
Pas de Deux goes to distributors worldwide in March, with a subsequent release in the Netherlands. It will be released in France and the USA on 10th April, and in the UK on 17th April.
Read the official press release here.
Pas de Deux
Challenge Records CC72833
Jean Sibelius — Water Droplets (Vattendroppar)
Krzysztof Penderecki — Ciaccona in memoriam Giovanni Paolo II
Pēteris Vasks — Castillo Interior
Claude Debussy, arr. Craig White — Prélude: La sérénade interrompue
Maurice Ravel — Sonata for Violin and Cello, a la mémoire de Claude Debussy
Giovanni Sollima — Heimat Terra
Marcelo Nisinman — Die Albträume des Todes
Astor Piazzolla — Three Tangos
Image from Dutch TV programme Podium Wittema: Marietta’s song by Korngold, with Tim Brackman, Benjamin Roskams and Caspar Vos.