In their premiere album on the Genuin album, husband and wife duo Ralf Mathias Caspers (violin) and Tamaki Takeda-Caspers (piano) play together as the Duo Intermezzo. As described in the liner notes, Duo Intermezzo focuses its programs on short pieces and miniatures. This album, entitled Schmankerln & Postres (Delicacies & Desserts), offers listeners selections from three of their standard programs and features an array of miniatures ranging from Brahms and Tchaikovsky to Charlie Chaplin and John Morris. This program offers listeners some nice contrasts in texture, style, and mood. What's lacking is the same level of contrast in the way Duo Intermezzo approaches the music. Too often, Ralf Caspers' tone is unvaried whether playing de Falla or Rachmaninov, and vibrato is the same from Provost to Kreisler. Duo Intermezzo also neglects to add much in the way of rubato, passion, playfulness, or spontaneity, characteristics that distinguish average albums of this nature from exemplary ones. Technically, Ralf Caspers playing is also not as sparkling and precise as is necessary for some of the more virtuosic pieces on the program, most notably the Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, in which many of the more demanding passages escape him or are slowed drastically to aide in their execution. To take the Delicacies and Desserts metaphor further, this album is like the filet mignon that arrives slightly overcooked, or the soufflé that's collapsed: all of the ingredients are there, but the final product is not what is hoped for.
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AllMusic Review by Mike D. Brownell