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Deep bond between musicians and music … unparalleled richness

Luister (Netherlands)

Serbian-French cellist Maja Bogdanović and Dutch-English violinist Daniel Rowland are soul mates.

For Pas de Deux, their remarkable debut CD, they engage in a graceful dance together.

In their home town of Amsterdam they tell – even before the corona crisis – about their unshakable bond.

Last February their first joint CD was released, aptly titled Pas de Deux. At the end of the summer, their intimate bond will be confirmed again when the couple gets married. With their debut album they already take an advance: a declaration of love for violin and cello from which the adventure flows.

On the CD Pas de Deux you can hear the deep bond between musicians and music.

The initially sober-sounding combination of violin and cello is of unparalleled richness.

“Yes, that’s right,” nods Bogdanović. “Composers often use double-stopping to get a full sound. This makes it technically one of the most difficult combinations I know. The music is quite bare and you cannot hide as a musician. You really have to work hard.” Rowland sees it as an advantage that they are a couple. “To let the cello and violin breathe together, it helps if you are soul mates. After concerts, people sometimes come and ask if there was something between us. It’s a nice compliment.”

The repertoire for the duo of violin and cello is very limited. “Unfortunately, the great composers from the Classical and Romantic periods have left no duos. Our starting points are two duos by Kodály and Ravel. For our CD, we unquestionably chose the Sonata by Maurice Ravel. Around that we have programmed some more contemporary works for cello and violin,” explains Rowland.

Ravel’s four-part Sonata was composed in memory of his good musical friend Claude Debussy. Elements of Ravel’s colourful and highly-contrasting duo can be heard in the other works that have been selected around it. “The slow part of Ravel’s Sonata, for example, exudes a spiritual, sacred atmosphere — characteristics that you also hear in our premiere recordings of music by Pēteris Vasks and Krzysztof Penderecki”, says Rowland.

The final movement of Ravel’s Sonata is full of life and dancing energy.

(rough translation of the original Dutch)

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21/10/2020