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Penguin Guide, January 2009

The Duo for Cello and Piano (1857), played persuasively by Mats Rondin and Bengt-Ake Lundin, alludes to material from the A minor Quartet. In both the Duo and the Quartet the piano is hyperactive, as it tends to be in the roughly contemporaneous Piano Quintets. The Duo Concertante is quite inventive and well written, although it is nowhere as individual as the G minor Quartet (1818). The playing throughout is accomplished, although Lundin dominates in the Duos because of the recording balance…

Mark L. Lehman
American Record Guide, October 2000

"Berwald's three duos aren't quite as central to his production as his trios, quartets, and especially his quintets. If you've come to enjoy this unique Swedish composer's symphonies (and you should if you like Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Schumann!) and are ready to move on to his chamber music, I'd suggest starting with his two piano quintets on Naxos 553970 (May/ June 2000). Then - if you want more - go on to the other chamber music.

"Dating from 1816, Berwald's Duo Concertante for two violins is an early piece completed before the composer (who was only 20) had attained his mature (and very individual) style. It sounds like the work of a lesser and rather old-fashioned contemporary of, say, Weber or Hummel. The other two duos, one for violin and piano and one for cello and piano, are fully characteristic works written four decades later. Sweetly singing lyricism alternates with rhythmic vitality and vivacious piano figuration in the composer's typical manner. How delightfully Berwald matches these qualities in the Violin Duo's Allegro giocoso finale! As a bonus Naxos includes a gorgeous, rhapsodic 8-minute Fantasy on Two Swedish Folk- Melodies for solo piano attributed to Berwald with some uncertainty, though it certainly sounds like him.

"This Naxos is fresh, spontaneous-sounding, well recorded, and bargain priced."

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group