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Lucy Jeffery
MusicWeb International, March 2014

As a duo Bernecoli and Bianchi…demonstrate individual flare along with joint integrity and unforced collaborative intuitiveness.

With the light and airy notes of the Giga and Allegretto vivace, Bernecoli gives a depth and definition which is matched by Bianchi’s crisp punctuation. Her full tone never becomes wispy or gravelly and her vibrato is noteworthy for its evenness and naturalness.

From Respighi’s Sei Pezzi (1901–2) Bianchi plays the melting figurations of the Berceuse in D minor and Leggenda in G minor from the Sei Pezzi with delicacy and grace.

This CD offers Respighi admirers a rare opportunity to hear the very early thoughts and ideas which would shape his late style. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Stefano Pagliantini
Musica, March 2014

The violinist Emy Bernecoli, who has for several years been part of a close-knit duo with pianist Massimo Giuseppe Bianchi, to her credit has already received impressive reviews for the recording of Ghedini’s Sonatas for violin and pianoforte, also for Naxos.

Here perhaps she finds greater satisfaction of a purely instrumental kind in virtue of Respighi’s more idiomatic writing, which grants both instruments ample room to reveal gifts of virtuosity but above all lithe cantabile quality, especially in the Sonata. Phrasing of great naturalness, general instrumental polish and a piercing sound help stylize the more fashionable pages, served with great elegance without excesses of mannerism: it would suffice to listen to the persuasive cafè chantant flavor with which they know how to permeate a page like the caressing Waltz or the Serenade that recalls certain miniatures by a musician such as Edward Elgar.

A first-rate success that worthily sets itself beside the beautiful recording made for Hyperion in 2012 by Tanja Becker-Bender and Péter Nagy and the complete collection of music for violin and pianoforte recorded by Marco Rogliano and Maurizio Paciariello for Tactus. © 2014 Musica

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2014

Delving deep into the prolific output of the Italian composer, Ottorino Respighi, this is the first of two discs in the release of his complete music for violin and piano. He had studied with the distinguished Italian composer Giuseppe Martucci, and later learned his gifts for colourful orchestration from Rimsky-Korsakov. Before that final educational installment his student works included a number of chamber works that are included on this highly enjoyable release. Opening with the Giga and Allegretto vivace that were little more than ‘work in progress’ scores that end in mid-air, an attempt at writing a major sonata came in 1897. The resultant score had its musical feet firmly planted in the era of Schumann, its final Allegretto a rather jolly piece, the violin decorating the thematic material given to the piano. Still writing in the same style four years later, Six Pieces is a substantial score falling not far short of half an hour. At times it comes close to salon music that the great violinists of the time would have used as encores, the Valse caressante, a particularly charming piece. Another four years pass before the Five Pieces was completed, and here he was experimenting, the opening Romanza a very beautiful period piece from the late 19th century. A busy Aubade is something of a surprise, just as much as a final Humoresque that has a yearning quality…Emy Bernecoli and Massimo Bianchi appear to be an established Italian duo, and though technically the music presents few challenges, they perform with musical affection, Bernecoli’s intonation being very well centred and clean. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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