One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,514 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider


paid for


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

FOGHORN Classics

Mozart Brahms
Clarinet Quintets

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat



Recordings of the Month



From Ocean’s Floor


Conner Riddle Songs

Rodzinski Sibelius

Of Innocence and Experience


Support us financially by purchasing this disc from
Zoltán KODÁLY (1882-1967)
Duo for violin and cello, Op. 7 [24:48]
Johan HALVORSEN (1864-1935)
Passacaglia in G minor on a theme by Handel [6:58]
Adrien-François SERVAIS (1807-1866) and Hubert LÉONARD (1819-1890)
Grand Duo de Concert [13:20]
Maurice RAVEL (1875-1937)
Sonata for violin and cello [20:36]
John Philip SOUSA (1852-1932)
The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. Dukov) [4:05]
DuoW (Arianna Warsaw-Fan (violin); Meta Weiss (cello))
rec. 10-12 December 2012, Sono Luminus, Boyce, Virginia, USA
SONO LUMINUS DSL-92171 CD + Blu-ray Audio [69:47]

This CD runs the gamut of one-violin-one-cello repertoire, from romantic virtuoso showpieces to modern masterworks by Kodály and Ravel to - why not - an arrangement of John Philip Sousa’s most beloved march. It’s well worth your time because the music is arranged for maximum contrast … and because the two performers are superb.
Arianna Warsaw-Fan and Meta Weiss, both in their twenties, tackle all this music with aplomb. When there are only two performers, the pressure’s on, and they meet all the composers’ demands, dig into the different voices like master ventriloquists, and crucially sound fantastic. Each has the kind of burnished tone you’d expect from concert soloists: no iffy intonation, scratchiness, hesitation or any other ugly sounds - except when Ravel calls for ugly sounds in his scherzo. In the ‘Grand Duo’, Weiss’s harmonics sound as easy as pie.
What about the music? Kodály, Ravel and Halvorsen are mainstays of the duo repertoire, with Halvorsen’s passacaglia worthy of its popularity and served well here. Servais and Léonard, a 19th-century performing duo, are represented by a Grand Duo they wrote together for themselves. The themes are popular English tunes, “God Save the Queen” and “London is out of sorrow”, which happily are also popular American tunes, “My country ’tis of thee” and “Yankee Doodle”. There are also interesting variations on those themes and a whole lot of virtuoso fluff which is as fun to hear as the performers say it’s fun to play. The Sousa arrangement is by violinist Bruce Dukov, and it’s outrageously witty. I started grinning at 0:24.
Although the sound is good - if very, very close - I have to gripe about Sono Luminus’s booklet. The label’s quality control is usually fantastic, but something went terribly wrong with my copy, where three paragraphs are printed twice, work titles and composer pictures are printed next to text describing the previous piece, and the ending is clearly missing. Oops. Oh, and why is it called “Entendre”? This is never explained.
Anyway, this CD isn’t really the thing if you’re looking for a collection of Maurice Ravel’s chamber music, or Kodály’s. It is unquestionably the thing if you’re looking for a fun, brilliantly played album for violin and cello. If so, buy with confidence, and then maybe take a quick sceptical look at the booklet notes.
Chamber music fans with fancy schmancy audio systems should note that this comes with a free Blu-ray Audio disc of the same program but I couldn’t compare the two for sound.
P.S. Full disclosure: I attended Rice University at the same time as cellist Meta Weiss, saw her orchestral and chamber playing, and might have attended her recitals, though I don’t think we ever really met.
Brian Reinhart