ELARIS DUO

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DUO VIRTUOSO

DUO VIRTUOSO

Works for Violin & Cello

Ludwig van Beethoven, Luigi Boccherini, Halvorsen-Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Zoltán Kodály, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ELARIS DUO
Larisa Elisha, Violin
Steven Elisha, Violoncello

[MS1236]

$12.95

LISTEN
REVIEWS
"This is a warmly played program... [They play the Kodaly] with great freedom."
D. Moore, American Record Guide [July / August 2009]
"Larisa and Steven Elisha ask for a lot of respect by calling their disc 'Duo Virtuoso', but they begin earning it from the first bar of the first item: Their commitment, authority, grace and buoyant energy are evident throughout...their programme. 'Duo Virtuoso' is shown to be a perfectly appropriate title for the disc; I'll turn it around, too, and call the performers a virtuoso duo. Highly recommended."
Malcolm Tattersall, Music & Vision [June 2009]
"Larisa and Steven Elisha give impressive performances of works for violin and cello, with the major work Kodaly’s Duo, Op.7. This sprawling, 26-minute work is difficult to shape convincingly; technically adept, these performers try valiantly. Duets by Beethoven, Haydn, Boccherini, arrangements of Mozart’s Duo K.423 and the Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia are impressively played."
Turok's Choice - Issue No.208 [March 2009]
"[The Kodaly is] very well and idiomatically played."
BBC Music [January 2009]
"The reverberant recorded sound balances the violin and cello almost ideally, capturing just the right amount of detail. The repertoire, well chosen and well ordered, the capable engineering, and, above all, the striking performances - all might convince you you're not in Kansas anymore. But you are. Very strongly recommended."
Fanfare - 2008
"Duo Virtuosi is the title of an impressive debut album by the husband-wife duo of Steven and Larissa Elisha. Performing on cello and violin, respectively, they are known as the Elaris Duo. Together, they explore an amazing range of styles, colors and textures in music by great composers over three centuries. The selections heard on this disc may be thought of as grand-scale works in which the sonorities often make it hard to believe they are played by just two string instruments... The Duo in G major, K423 by Mozart, for instance, has more the feeling of a string serenade in its distinctively rich and expressive sounds, its exchanges between the instruments, and the lovely lyric quality of its Adagio. At one point in the opening movement, we even have a graceful little canon between the two voices, although Mozart wears his learning lightly. There follow a Sonata in D major by Boccherini, suffused with the courtly charm one associates with this composer, and a Duo in the same key by Haydn that is so harmonically rich we might think we were listening to a string quartet instead of a duo... Next, Beethoven’s Duo in C major, woO 27, originally written for clarinet and bassoon, sounds very idiomatically like string music in this adaptation. The playful skirmish between the two instruments in the finale, a typical Beethoven rondo, is preceded by more passionately expressive music in the preceding slow movement. Next, Handel’s Passacaglia from Harpsichord Suite No. 7 is given an astonishingly virtuosic performance by the Eishas, in the 19th century adaptation by Johan Halvorsen. With its runs, arpeggios, double-stops, spiccato and ricochet bowings, this work is as brilliant sounding as it is profound in its many moods. (Like another famous variation-form, the Canon in D by Johan Pachelbel, this Passacaglia is always popping up in fresh new guises.)
The program concludes in a very satisfying way with Duo for Violin and Cello, Op.7 by 20th century Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodály. If the Handel sounds as if it might have been performed by a whole ensemble instead of just two players, the Kodály gives us the impression we might be hearing a concerto for string orchestra. An abundance of melodies – expressive, dreamlike, or soaring – compete for our attention with freely handled rhythms and a wide palette of tone colors. This is music of real soul and deep feeling. The animated Presto that concludes the work calls for, and gets, the utmost in virtuosity from both players."
Atlanta Audio Society - October 2008
"Their performances of the Brahms double concerto for violin and cello was revelatory…the Elaris Duo presented a unanimity of phrasing and tonal projection that was stunning in its conception and execution. The synchronicity of the unison passages alone was a marvel."
Topeka Capital-Journal
PROGRAM NOTES
In this recording, the Elaris Duo traces the history and development of the violin-cello duo genre from early works of Boccherini and Haydn, reaching an instrumental and compositional zenith in the monumental Kodaly Op.7 Duo. Varied in its content, this program of original compositions for violin and cello, and adaptations/transcriptions of duos performed in alternative instrumental versions, reflect a wide range of styles and display virtuosity with a wonderful versatility of instrumental colors. The intriguing dialogue between these two solo voices express a true collaboration offering an exciting give–and–take of thematic counterpoint with varying harmonic textures, ultimately capturing the magic and quintessence of chamber music.

Larisa Elisha and Steven Elisha are each internationally acclaimed soloists, chamber musicians and clinicians. Together they are the ELARIS DUO, whose performances and artistry have delighted audiences worldwide. The Elishas have gained national and international renown through performances that include the Bergen International Festival, Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy, National Taiwan University of the Arts, Summit Music Festival and Sunflower Music Festival, as well as solo appearances with Washington Square Music Festival Orchestra, Hastings Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Lawrence Chamber Orchestra, Sunflower Music Festival Chamber Orchestra and National Taiwan Arts Orchestra. They have also appeared in numerous live radio broadcasts. As clinicians, Larisa and Steven Elisha have been featured at the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, College Music Society Conference, Georgia Music Educators Association Conference, National Orchestra Festival and American String Teachers Association National Conferences. While members of the Kansas Arts Commission’s Arts on Tour roster, they were chosen as representatives for the “Kansas – As Big as You Think” campaign. The Duo has received many awards, including the 2008 Kansas Governor’s Arts Award, Kansas Federation of Music Club’s Musicians of the Year Award, a Chamber Music America Residency Grant and an honorary Life-Time Membership to Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI).
PROGRAM
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
Duo in G major, K.423

LUIGI BOCCHERINI
Allegretto spiritoso (from Sonata for Violin and Cello)

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Poco Adagio (from Duet in D major, Hob.VI:D1 for Violin and Cello)

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN
Duet for Violin and Cello, WoO 27

HALVORSEN-HANDEL
Passacaglia (Duo for Violin and Cello)

ZOLTÁN KODÁLY
Duo for Violin and Cello, Op.7
 



MSR Classics
DUO VIRTUOSO II
DUO VIRTUOSO II
Works for Violin & Cello ELARIS DUO

[MS1526]