This beautiful winter morning heralds the arrival of a new classical music album for me to review, and one that fitted the cadence of the day with such perfection, as I peruse through the release from Duo Diversitas entitled Ex aequo, an album of sublime quality style and panache it has to be said.
Settling into the warmth of this presentation is utterly delightful, and our journey begins with the work of Johan Sebastian Bach in three parts, I. Allegro, II. Adagio, and III Allegro, Duo Diversitas are Marisa Minder and Evgeniya Spalinger. I cannot express enough the beauty that I find here on this suite of great majesty, the Allegro parts are manifested with great energy, and with a delightfully crisp upbeat purpose, whilst the middle Adagio is played with such a tender yet skilful repose, in what is a sublime start to an illustrious collection of great works.
So, from Bach to Mozart we go, and to the pieces Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423 (arr. E. Fisk for flute and guitar); I. Allegro, Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423 (arr. E. Fisk for flute and guitar); II Adagio, and finally Duo for Violin and Viola in G Major, K. 423 (arr. E. Fisk for flute and guitar); III. Rondo; Allegro, here our symbiotic partnership of class, brings forth a set of performances that truly needs to be listened to in great depth, and within an insightful focus too. The cheerful Allegro’s dance with a great flourish across our musical dance floor, whilst it has to be noted that the middle Adagio is one of the finest I have heard, its delicate, almost reverential presentation, is so wonderfully crafted.
Time now for a complete change of energy through the works of Franz Schubert and the following musical narratives of I Allegro molto, II Andante and III Allegro Vivace, here the deep well of musical satisfaction can be sourced, the tones of sublime brilliance are constructed in a marvellous performance by both Minder and Spalinger. Schubert is considered as the last official classical composer, and the first of the Romantic ones, and even though his life was incredibly short, the body of work he created was amazingly vast. Here Duo Diversitas capture the mood perfectly on all three pieces, my personal favourite would be the thoughtful and quite emotive refrains of the Andante, a track performed at a wonderfully easy walking pace by both artists.
I remember my father being fond of the works of Rossini, how he would have loved this clever combination of the aforementioned Italian composer and Franz Liszt with their pieces respectfully, Soirées musicales and IX. La danza (Tarantella), the manifestation of this would surely bring a huge round of applause and more from any audience.
Now we shift our gaze to a Russian composer of the romantic era in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and the compositions IV. April; Snowdrop and VI June; Barcarolle, the level of ambience created by Duo Diversitas sold this performance for me, and the melodic structure of the latter track doubly so, how delightfully pleasant it would be to be boating in Venice to this somewhat happy musical narrative.
We now drift for this next composition into the arms of Austrian born violist Friedrich "Fritz" Kreisler, a pure master of toning and phrasing, here on Schön Rosmarin, we have a flowering beauty of a track that waltz’s into your heart and never leaves, the delicate flute performance here by Spalinger rises and drifts on the wind of brilliance, like the lark on a soft spring morning.
Our final portal to the classics comes courtesy of the Swiss composer Hans Haug with three pieces, and entitled Capriccio; I. Prélude, Capriccio; II. Sérénade à l inconnue and Capriccio; III Gigue, Haug was known for being a influential composer for classical guitar, thus this suits the technical genius of Minder perfectly, and as such her presentation is utterly sublime, while Spalinger comes into her own on the middle the creation, and the final flourish can be found on the concluding piece, with a dramatic and resounding coda.
Ex aequo by Duo Diversitas is one of the finest examples of a recreation of truly breath taking classical music, each piece and composition is performed with the highest of skillsets, the entire album is presented with a warm energy, and allows the doors to classical music to be thrown open wide for all to investigate, making the genre a far more accessible. Ex aequo by Duo Diversitas is an album to completely enjoy in all its aspects and one very easy to recommend.