DUO VIRTUOSOWorks for Violin & Cello
Ludwig van Beethoven, Luigi Boccherini, Halvorsen-Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn, Zoltán Kodály, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Larisa Elisha, Violin
Steven Elisha, Violoncello
"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.)