Duo Amadè

Mozart: Duo Sonatas, Vol. 2

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Mozart's works for violin and keyboard, though not scarce to be certain, may not at first seem adequate for the formation of an ensemble specializing in their performance. Such a duo would need to have something truly exceptional to offer its listeners and a deep musical and scholarly introspection of the works themselves. The Duo Amadé, formed by violinist Catherine Mackintosh and fortepianist Geoffrey Govier, is just such an ensemble. The present disc, Vol. 2 of their survey, is every bit enticing as the first. While these are clearly sonatas for keyboard with violin (and not truly violin sonatas, per se), Duo Amadé makes considerable strides to strike an ideal balance between violin and keyboard and create a dynamic interplay in which both instruments are allowed to shine through. This is accomplished not only through their exceptional musical and technical skills, but through their instruments of choice. Govier notably uses a fortepiano, giving a bit more muscularity and presence to the keyboard part without drowning out the violin. Their playing throughout this volume is technically brilliant, filled with moments of musical beauty, and saturated with striking nuance of texture and tone color. Chaconne's recorded sound is clean and rich while free of unneeded reverb or other technical tampering. As with Vol. 1, this installment is deserving of a place of respect in any collection.

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