BBC Music Magazine

May 1, 2012

Spanish Warmth

Duo Sonidos displays instinctive flair for Piazzolla and Falla, says Julia Haylock

Works by Planottil, Brotons, Morales-Caso, Falla
William Knuth (violin),
Adam Levin (guitar)

A depressingly long list of clasically-trained musicians has attempted (and mostly) failed to "hang loose" with Piazzolla. How refreshing, then, to encounter two gifted young American musicians playing the Histoire du Tango with a loose-limbed, easy virtioso 'cool' and beguiling tonal warmth that combined laid-back intuitiveness with classical sophistication. Paul Kochanski's transcription of Galla's Suite populaire for violing and piano has become a concert standard, but heard with guitar accompaniment it takes on a whole new dimension, taking it our of the concert hall into the sun-drenched vistas of Spain.

In his Tre Divertimenti, contemporarion Catalan composer Salvador Brontons evokes an unmistakably Iberian sultriness that becomes deliciously earthy in the fast-changing meters of the finale. No less evocative is Eduardo Morales-Caso's Volaverunt, a haunting fantasy inspired by Goya. Stunning performances  from Duo Sonidos, complemented by state of the art, engagingly tactile engineering.