The husband and wife duo made up of cellist Adam Mital and pianist Olimpia Tolan take listeners on a tour of central Europe with their selection of works by Schubert, Dvorák, Janácek, Martinu, and Bartók. Clearly, Schubert is the outlier here both stylistically and temporally. But the Viennese master's Arpeggione Sonata results in one of the strongest performances on an already well-played album. Mital's sound is clear and penetrating, particularly on the A-string. His almost electric use of vibrato does not sound out of place here; instead, it is used to great effect as an ornament and a tool to emphasize high points in phrases and changes in harmony. This same clarity of tone and vibrancy of execution is brought to Dvorák's Silent Woods and Rondo, as well as Janácek's Pohádka and Presto. In these latter two works, Mital's sound occasionally comes across as a bit nasal and diffuse lower in his instrument's range, but this is not a significant detractor. Mital and Tolan hit their stride once again with Martinu's Variations on a Slovak Theme and Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances. The rhythmic complexity employed by these two composers is brought to life with vehemence and intensity by both Mital and Tolan. The two play together as a seamless, homogenous unit. Balance appropriately favors the cello without completely subverting the piano.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell
|Sonata a-minor, "Arpeggione - Sonata", D 821|
|Variations on a Slovak Theme|
|Romanian Folk Dances|