Duos for violin and cello are not common, but they form a tradition going back to the Classical era, and they have a distinct flavor: slightly pedagogical, compact, and often dryly witty. The tradition had a special flowering in Hungary in the early 20th century, inspired by the opening work on the program here, the substantial Duo for violin and cello, Op. 7, of Zoltán Kodály. For the most part the music is only lightly Hungarian in flavor. Along the way there are many small pleasures: the Baroque-influenced Sonata da camera for violin and cello from Kodály's student Mátyas Seiber, a set of variations by Miklós Rósza in which the personality of his later film music is fully audible, an academic but folkish Polyphon et homophon for violin and cello, Op. 2, of Zoltán Székely, a bonbon by Ligeti, and finally some of the 44 Duos for violin and viola of Bartók, arranged for violin and cello but originally part of the same tradition and not seeming at all out of place here. The all-German performers and engineering staff turn in fine performances, with violinist Friedemann Eichhorn and cellist Alexander Hülshoff alert to the flavors of the individual works, and the sound from Southwest German Radio's Karlsruhe studios is superior. A nice find for lovers of Hungarian music in the early 20th century.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
|Duo für Violine und Violoncello, Op. 7|
|Sonata da camera für Violine und Violoncello|
|Polyphon et homophon, für Violine und Violoncello, Op. 2|
|Aus den 44 Duos für 2 Violinen|