Sonatas for two violins

Johannes Pramsohler, Roldán Bernabé
Audax Records ADX13714
Guignon, Guillemain, Leclair & Mangean

Any new release on the Audax label is going to be more than worth hearing – the level of performance and recording engineering are astonishing. For this recent recording, the two violinists of the “house band” (Ensemble Diderot) enjoyed some continuo-free time in a programme of frankly daunting duet sonatas. The “usual suspects” are there – Leclair (op 12/6), Guillemain (op 4/2) and Guignon (Les sauvages et La Furstemberg, a worled premiere recording, and his Folies d’Espagne), as well as the little-known Etienne Mangean (op 3/6, also a first outing on CD). Pramsohler and Bernabé are perfectly matched – for proof, listen to Track 13, where the bow strokes of their détaché chords sound as if they’re played by the same person, then marvel as they toss phrases back and forth, swapping roles absolutely effortlessly. Of course, it is anything but effortless – these guys must have invested hours, practising this until they agreed on how each passage should be and then there’s the remarkable feat of pulling off such captivating performances. This is a disc I have enjoyed for months and am only now able to put into words how gorgeous it all is! If you haven’t already acquired it, or you worried that a whole disc of duets might not be your thing, please do your ears and soul a favour…

Brian Clark

One reply on “Sonatas for two violins”

The Man with the Golden Bow: Johannes Pramsohler! nearly everything he turns his hands to turns to gold! As the examples on the Audax label, and elsewhere clearly testify. I’d personally love to hear him tackle Telemann’s mostly unrecorded Suonatines (6) of 1718, and some of the Double-violin Trios in TWV42 =approx 17 Works all told….awaiting their premieres! 😉

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