This disc is a delight.
You do not need to read the liner-notes
to discover that Liza Ferschtman and
Inon Barnatan have been playing together
for some time. You can hear it. Their
playing has that rare combination of
freshness and unanimity, as though two
like minded friends are conversing about
something dear to their hearts. This
is more than mere technical polish.
This is soulful, musical playing.
Their reading of the
Beethoven sonata breathes an unforced
lyricism. Ferschtman and Barnatan find
so much sunshine in this work that it
is impossible to listen to their performance
without smiling. Ferschtman is adept
at colouring a phrase without drawing
attention to her technique, and Barnatan
coaxes some lovely dew-drop sounds from
his keyboard. Highlights are impossible
to pin-point. From the gentle glitter
of the first movement to the songful
introspection of the second; from the
archness of the scherzo - usually more
brusque, but utterly charming here -
to the sheer fun of the variations in
the last movement, this is a treasurable
The Schubert Fantasia
is similarly conceived, with Ferschtman
and Barnatan dancing daintily through
Schubert's substantial score. They find
a hushed eloquence in the opening section,
produce vivacious interplay in the perky
dance section and make much of the contrasts
in the variations before the conclusion.
Their concentration binds this piece
As a pendent, the duo
offer a sensitive and affectionate reading
of the song on which the Fantasia draws,
Ferschtman's violin replacing the voice
but offering a comparable range of expression.
The musicians contribute
a co-authored set of liner notes in
English, Dutch, German and French, which
comment on the music helpfully and from
a personal perspective.
I had never heard of
either of these musicians before this
disc arrived for review. I have the
utmost regard for them now and urge
you to hear this disc for yourself.