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Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, September 2017

Several of these offerings are charming miniatures, including an Andante Cantabile, a Waltz, a March, and a Romance. Dvarionas’s ability to write seemingly effortless tunes is impressive. ‘Pezzo Elegiaco’ is gently impassioned; ‘Recollection’ is a subtle exploration of chromaticism and whole-tone harmony. Auskelyte’s trills are exquisite here, and her tone is always warm and gratifying.

The Sonata-Ballade, the major work on the program, begins with pensive, harmonically ambiguous chords; the violin quickly joins with a rhapsodic melody. The discourse in this single-movement piece is mainly lyrical, but there are startling interruptions of grotesque folk material in the manner of Prokofieff and Shostakovich. It all ends with a gorgeous dreamlike melody in the violin’s highest register followed by near-inaudible violin plucks. Dvarionas may be a minor composer, but he is imaginative, soulful, and easy on the ears. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, June 2017

The duo…clearly understand each other very well since they have been playing together for 8 years and violinist Justina Auškelyte has been laureate of the National Balys Dvarionas Violin Competition four times in succession and was Grand Prix laureate in the 8th International Balys Dvarionas Competition in 2008 so she is the perfect vehicle to bring his music to life, which she certainly does, while her colleague, Italian pianist Cesare Pezzi, is such a sympathetic partner that the music is given an extra edge of authenticity and I cannot imagine it will ever be likely to receive more impressive performances. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, May 2017

The two artists here are adept and feel completely in sympathy with the idiom. The vivid recording is no obstacle to their playing.

These are winning miniatures—some emotionally complex, some less so. I hope that this delightful disc serves as a positive pathfinder for recordings of Dvarionas’s major works. Meantime it can be enjoyed in its own right. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2017

During the dark days of Soviet repression, we, in the Western world, knew little of the artistic achievements of Latvian-born composers that included Balys Dvarionas. Born in 1904, he spent much of his working life in Lithuania where he enjoyed a diverse career as a pianist, conductor and composer, having studied composition in Leipzig, and piano in Berlin with the legendary Egon Petri. As a composer, he was already into his forties before he began a series of major works that included an opera, symphonies and concertos that were well received. His output for violin and piano was more limited, and apart from a Sonata-Ballade, were essentially short pieces of melodic charm and mostly intended for his daughter and son to perform as a duo. In content, they are neither complex nor technically challenging and fit within his ideal that they should ‘spread beauty and good harmony’, with just a hint of the Shostakovich era in the Sonata-Ballade. The disc numbers thirteen pieces and include a Scherzino, Meditation, Ballade, Impromptu, Reconciliation and Romance, mostly written in the 1960’s in the mode of a latter-day Fritz Kreisler. The young Lithuanian violinist, Justina Auskelyte, recently graduated from New York’s Juilliard School, produces a suitably warm tone and impeccable intonation. Her partnership with the Italian pianist, Cesare Pezzi, goes back a number of years, and he obviously enjoys the fact that the composer was a pianist who placed most of music’s interest in the keyboard writing. The Lithuanian recorded sound is adequate. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

Records International, May 2017

We just got a good portion of this Lithuanian composer’s violin-and-piano œuvre (six of the 15 were on 03S060 in March) but here we get all of it, especially his largest-scale piece, the 13-minute Sonata-Ballade of 1965, full of late Romantic warmth as, indeed, are all of his compositions here. © 2017 Records International

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