DUO VIRTUOSO IIWorks for Violin & Cello
Arthur Honegger, Maurice Ravel, Erwin Schulhoff
Larisa Elisha, violin
Steven Elisha, violoncello
"[4-Star sound rating] The Elaris Duo play with dazzling virtuosity and infectious high spirits nicely captured in MSR's clear, clean sonics"
Mark Lehman, The Absolute Sound [January 2018]
“Here are three oft-recorded duos for violin and cello. Their styles match to a turn of the page. The same goes for these players, Larisa and Steven Elisha [who are] fine musicians whose phrasing balances each other in an intimate way... the playing is unusually well balanced and the program is a fine one.”
D. Moore, American Record Guide [November/December 2017]
"[a] warm human touch informed by virtuosity... Laris and Steven Elisha make a strong case for Arthur Honegger's Sonatine as the one true gem on the disc... [the Elaris Duo] confirm that this is music that demands to be heard."
Laurence Vittes, Gramophone [October 2017]
“The concept behind this disc is very good and well thought out... [In] the Elaris Duo’s performance [of the Honegger] the sonorities between the two instruments [are] expertly brought to the fore by both pairs of performers... first rate... [The Schulhoff] is given a strong performance by Elaris... The recorded sound is very good, as are the booklet notes that describe the works presented here as “remarkable jewels... you can’t go very wrong by buying this disc.”
Stuart Sillitoe, MusicWeb International [October 2017]
"The CD as a whole offers a rather unusual instrumental combination and three pieces whose differing sensibilities give the performers ample chances to express themselves both in virtuosity and in emotional involvement."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad.com [July 2017]
"spontaneous, vibrant performances... Besides being marvelous musically, this release, titled Duo Virtuoso II, has been recorded in vivid, lifelike sound. Strongly recommended."
Huntley Dent, Fanfare [July/August 2017]
"The Elaris Duo’s album is one that can embraced not only for excellence in the art of performance, but for the imaginative programming of works not that often heard, and for the playing of them in a way that assures you will want to hear them again."
Jerry Dubins, Fanfare [September/October 2017]
"The credit for the richness of these three musical experiences lies as much with the totally committed performances of the Elishas as it does the original conception by the composers... I won’t belabor my readers with detailed descriptions of all three works and the astonishing technical prowess required of the performers to put it across (My hat’s off to the Elishas!)"
Phil Muse, Audio Society of Atlanta [June 2017]
PROGRAM NOTESDuo Virtuoso II features an exciting and colorful program of 20th century European masterpieces written between the two World Wars. The Ravel Sonata, Honegger Sonatina and Schulhoff Duo exhibit blazing virtuosity, idiomatic folk melodies and grotesque, burlesque features. In a spectrum of tonal colors, harmonic textures and palettes, the works hint at Eastern-European flavor with direct intimations of Debussy, Bartók and Kodály. Featured on Duo Virtuoso, the Elaris Duo’s previous album on MSR, Kodály’s monumental Duo, Op.7 – the unequivocal hallmark of the 20th century violin-cello duo repertoire – became the paradigm for future composers, offering new possibilities of artistic innovation and instrumental development.
After Debussy, the coterie of premier composers of the day included Schoenberg, Hindemith, Berg, Stravinsky, Satie, Bartók, Kodály, Webern, Ravel and Martinu. The traumatic experiences of the First World War forced many artists of the time to re-examine their relationship with the culture of the past. Unlike established composers like Schoenberg, Elgar and Strauss, who were able to default on their earlier styles, Ravel, Honegger and Schulhoff belonged to the newer generation of composers who followed this intense period of experimentation and innovation, which led to the creation of radically new techniques and styles. As an interesting comparative point, such experimentation and innovation also belonged to the different art styles and movements springing up during this time, which in itself, served as influences and models for composers and their compositions. The bold styles of Picasso and Braque’s Cubism, Italian and Russian Futurism, Surrealism, Expressionism and Dadaism all found their musical counterparts.
The three works on this disc are remarkable jewels. Each gave rise to a new voice of human expression, all within the context of aesthetic traditions and roots as well as specific cultural associations and influences.
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).
PROGRAMMAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
SONATA FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO (1920-22)
II. Très vif
IV. Vif, avec entrain
ARTHUR HONEGGER (1892-1955)
SONATINA FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO, H.80 (1932)
ERWIN SCHULHOFF (1894-1942)
DUO FOR VIOLIN AND CELLO (1925)
II. Zingaresca: Allegro giocoso