Bohuslav Martinu’s distinctive musical voice, which infuses the great Czech tradition with modern idioms, is showcased in this captivating survey of his concertante works. Performed by the Kodama sisters The Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra is a lively and rhythmic tour de force, breezily energetic and relentless, it is full of jazzy inflections and high speed fireworks. By contrast, the Concerto for Two Violins and Orchestra, performed by the Nemtanu sisters, is a warm, lyrical work in the Romantic tradition. On this release these works join The Rhapsody-Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, a dreamily nostalgic work whose simple melodies, radiant lyricism and soaring viola line make it one of the 20th century’s most performed viola concertos.
This release reunites the Kodama sisters in the studio following their scintillating recording of Tchaikovsky ballet suites for PENTATONE, Tchaikovsky - Ballet Suites for Piano Duo. In a review of a public performance of the Martinu Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, the Ziebline journal wrote “Mari and Momoyo Kodama are extraordinary … The fingers of the Japanese musicians were flying with diabolic ease and finesse: a stunning finale.”
"It filled us with joy when we received the invitation from PENTATONE to record Martinu’s Double Concerto. In fact, many years ago Lawrence Foster offered us to perform this work for the first time with the Orchestra della fondazione Toscanini, and it is thanks to him that we discovered this piece. The concerto has an Eastern-European imprint - congenial to our own, Romanian roots – both in its marvellous and dance-like joy and in the profound and rustic nature that often characterizes Martinu’s music. More than being just a discovery, this concerto feels almost like a revelation, offering us everything we have searched for since our childhood days in our exploration of the repertoire for two violins: modernity, folklore and passionate writing for the violin."
Deborah & Sarah Nemtanu
"A blind understanding is very important when performing such an unconventional work together. We sense the right timing together and allow ourselves liberties, but without losing ourselves from view. It was important to us to make Martinu’s music sound not only beautiful or even sterile, but rather wild and powerful. In the end, that was our goal. It has been an exceptional experience to record this magnificent concerto for PENTATONE with Maestro Lawrence Foster who led us through this musical journey."
Momo & Mari Kodama