Duo Arnicans, consisting of Namibian-German cellist Florian Arnicans and Latvian pianist Arta Arnicane (who are married), entered the chamber scene with this 2015 debut release. They've made quite a splash: the recording has it all. There's a major but little-known work: the early Cello Sonata, Op. 8, of Ernst von Dohnányi, composed in 1899. This is a Romantic work with an exuberantly Hungarian finale, and the Duo grabs your attention right from the mysterious opening gesture. There's a foot-tapping light work, the Introduction and polonaise brillante, Op. 3, by the young Chopin. There's an entirely original arrangement, by Arta Arnicane, for cello and piano of the Chopin Waltz in A minor, Op. 34, which showcases Florian Arnicans' considerable melodic gift. This work was played at the wedding of the two performers. And there's a solid performance of the Chopin Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 65, one of the few mature works Chopin wrote for anything other than the piano. Throughout, the duo has the rather uncanny kind of coordination found among soulmates -- which, for now at least, the players are. The Dohnányi, a work in which they find unexpected beauties, is exceptional in this regard. The album bears the Sony Music imprint and was distributed by that group, but it was recorded (no location is specified) by the small German label Solo Musica, which specializes in choice meetings of performer and repertory like this one.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Sonata for cello and piano in B flat major Op. 8|
|Introduction et polonaise brillante in C major Op. 3|
|Sonata for cello and piano in G minor Op. 65|