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David Hurwitz, February 2015

There’s more Stravinsky for violin and piano than you might think, and this two-disc set stands alone as the best possible recording of it.

Both artists were young when these performances were made in the late 1980s. Mustonen…plays with wonderful crispness and intelligence; van Keulen always was memorable… She bows, plucks, and in a positive sense saws and hacks her way through the music’s sometimes nutty demands like a real trooper. I can’t imagine that all of it was a joy to play, but you’d never guess. Terrific sound too. © 2015 Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, January 2012

played in exemplary style and sophisticated sound. The stylishly deliberate and subtly varied, spiffingly lively and italicised six movement Suite Italienne drawn from material familiar from Pulcinella is done with vibrant immediacy. The Ballad is more impressionistic… The Danse Russe from Pétrouchka is full of eager zest with glorious work from Mustonen and frictionless celerity from van Keulen. The Chanson Russe recalls Sibelius’s Humoresques: sly charm mode engaged. Pastorale is a tender and yielding little saunter. The Divertimento moves between lunar light, coarse Russian dance fragments, spikily eerie revels and romantic louche.

The duo make a much more than merely viable success of the arrangement. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, October 2011

The recordings were made in 1987 and 1988 in Switzerland, but sound as fresh as if they were made last week. Van Keulen’s playing is exemplary—clean, warm, stylish and with no trace of excessive show; it’s fitting, given that what attracted Stravinsky to Dushkin’s playing was the latter’s sensitivity and a complete lack of showy virtuosity. Mustonen provides the perfect support. Beautifully packaged, and with really excellent booklet notes, this is one of the best “complete works” sets I’ve seen in a long time. Distributed by Naxos here, the budget price makes it an even more attractive buy.

David Jacobsen
American Record Guide, September 2011

This is an exceptional collection of the complete works for violin and piano. These pieces, some no more than 3 minutes long, have the same sophistication, brilliance, merit, and inspiration as some of Stravinsky’s larger works.

Mustonen and Keulen give a spectacular performance, filled with nuance, color, and intensity. Their passion is intoxicating.

To read the complete review, please visit American Record Guide online.

Erik Levi
BBC Music Magazine, July 2011



The fruits of Stravinsky’s rewarding partnership with violinist Samuel Dushkin are celebrated here. Van Keulen and Mustonen negotiate the music’s awkward technical hurdles with cool precision.

Mike D. Brownell, June 2011

As Brahms had Joachim and Britten had Rostropovich, so too did Igor Stravinsky have a significant relationship with a performer who inspired an abundance of music. In Stravinsky’s case, it was violinist Samuel Dushkin; the two collaborated together as performers which resulted in the arrangement of several of Stravinsky’s works for violin and piano. It also yielded the masterful and surprisingly lyrical Duo Concertant. The complete works for violin and piano fill two discs on this Newton Classics album featuring violinist Isabelle van Keulen and pianist Olli Mustonen. Equally at home playing standard repertoire as lesser-known modern works, and on the viola as well as the violin, van Keulen offers up some dazzling, nicely stylized performances of Stravinsky and Dushkin’s collaborations. Her playing is fiery and brazen while still delivering some warm subtlety when called for in the score. The lyrical moments in Stravinsky’s writing are played with a beautiful legato sound and effortless shifts. The well-known Suite Italienne is performed with moments of austere elegance, breathtaking beauty, and flashiness. Van Keulen and Mustonen form an exceptionally tight-knit ensemble wherein pacing, dynamics, balance, and musical intent are completely unified. Originally recorded in 1987–1988, Newton’s sound on this is disc is admirably clean and simple.

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12:41:42 AM, 27 April 2015
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