Leclair’s contribution to music history cannot be overstated. His innovation as a composer revolutionized the French school of violin playing and his playing helped to raise the standard of play- ing in France immeasurably. By weaving together elements of Italian and French music, he created an entirely new compositional style. His duos influenced later composers such as Mozart, de Beriot, Viotti, and closer to our own time, Bartok and Berio.
The seven sonatas for two violins might be the most imaginative and passionate works of the sort since the great Baroque string virtuoso Heinrich Biber, and though they are 'modern' in affect, they are profoundly traditional in tonality. Like Biber's stunning Mystery Sonatas, with their radical scordatura effects, these sonatas push the violinists to their technical limits and keep them there, but not merely for display, rather for emotional intensity…..Giordano Bruno @ Amazon.com
This disc begins with the thirty-five minute 'Concerto for two Violins', which was never orchestrated, sadly, by Skalkottas, but is played in the version for two pianos and two violins. It is a scintillating three movement composition with a terrifically virtuosic ten minute rondo finale. I ended up breathless and full of admiration for the composer and especially the performers for whom this music cannot have been familiar. It doesn't take long to get into Skalkottas's language. Twelve tone yes but melodic and full of Greek dance rhythms as the first movement demonstrates. A unique blend…….To listen to Skalkottas is a unique experience perhaps a little hairshirt at times but like a glass of Retsina there is nothing else quite as memorable or as addictive.Gary Higginson @ www.musicweb-international.com
These are powerful performances of quite interesting 20th Century duets for two violins. If one is at all open to a 20th Century aesthetic, this disc is worth hearing.D. Scott @ Amazon.com
Johann Pachelbel is unfairly viewed as a one-work composer, that work being the popular Canon in D major, for three violins and continuo. He was an important figure from the Baroque period who is now seen as central in the development of both keyboard music and Protestant church music. Some have summarized his primary contribution as the uniting of Catholic Gregorian chant elements with the Northern German organ style, a style that reflected the influence of the Protestant chorale. A Lutheran, he spent several years in Vienna where he was exposed to music by Frohberger and Frescobaldi, which influenced his work with the chorale-prelude…
The soloist in all the concertos of our recording is Josef Suk (1929), the grandson of the composer Josef Suk (1874-1935) and great- grandson of Antonin Dvorak. Since 1954, he has been pursuing an uninterrupted and diversified solo career and has become the most eminent Czech violin virtuoso of his generation. Suk's partner in Bach's Concerto for Two Violins is the Czech violin virtuoso Ladislav Jasek (1929), who has been active in Australia since the early 1970's. The oboe part in the Double Concerto in D minor BWV 1060a is played by Jan Adamus (1951).