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Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, December 2013

Powerfully expressive music that tests the limits of the cello. The bleak or fierce emotional turns feel sincere and heartfelt rather than academic; the creepy Prelude No. 12 might be a new classic. Ani Aznavoorian’s performance exceeds my ability to praise. © MusicWeb International

David W Moore
American Record Guide, November 2013

This is the first time [Lera Auerbach] has had an entire CD to herself, to my knowledge, and she appears not only as composer but pianist as well. In both of these roles she is outstanding. Her precision and colorful piano tone puts across the great sonic variety of her music with clarity and passion.

All of this is exciting material with an imaginative approach to tonality, played with intensity. Auerbach is well worth investigating. Aznavoorian makes a fine foil to her pianism and plays her music with involvement. © 2013 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Joanne Lam
I Care If You Listen, October 2013

…cellist Ani Aznavoorian’s boldly textured and multifarious playing is partnered by Auerbach’s fearless piano throughout the album. The resulting music—in the form of 24 Preludes (1999), Sonata (2002), and Postlude (2006)—is kaleidoscopic in quality, offering listeners an ever-changing array of sounds which speak directly to the breadth and virtuosity of both performers.

While Celloquy ends on a note of despair, it also leaves listeners waiting at the other end in rapturous applause for the myriad of illuminating nuances that Auerbach and Aznavoorian deliver throughout the album. The moment of infinite loneliness when sound dies is then, in hindsight, simply a realization of the beauty of transience. © 2013 I Care If You Listen Read complete review

Maria Nockin
Fanfare, July 2013

On this disc [Lera Auerbach and Ani Aznavoorian] play very well together with each seeming to anticipate the other’s playing. The first [prelude] begins with a dark, mysterious line from the cello coupled with threatening piano chords that foretell a storm. It’s the perfect material for this full-blooded, modern romantic composer who gives us a skillfully crafted set of preludes that is a great deal more than an exercise in music theory. Some preludes feature the cello and others the piano, but they always present the listener with interesting sounds that relate to both the past and the present and they always bring us something new and pleasant.

The crisp sound is finely balanced so that both cello and piano are heard at the same level. © 2013 Fanfare Read complete review

Donald Rosenberg
Gramophone, July 2013

In everything, Aznavoorian combines lustrous lyricism with a dramatic panache that illuminates the extremes in Auerbach’s music. The composer makes trenchant contributions anchoring her creations at the keyboard. © 2013 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Brian Reinhart
MusicWeb International, June 2013

The performances are of just staggering quality. Lera Auerbach at the piano is as effective a performer of her music as you can imagine, but the real surprise is cellist Ani Aznavoorian… Playing on a cello built by her father, Aznavoorian delivers with emotional commitment that borders on eye-popping. Plus she seems never to be afraid of the music’s demands for exotic effects, microtonality, scraping, spooky harmonics that sound like Armenian wind instruments, vibrato that threatens to explode, and fiendish double-stopping. To paraphrase Nigel Tufnel, this cellist goes up to 11. She delivered the world premiere of the preludes, according to her bio, and she simply owns this music. Not that I hope she owns it for long; this is extraordinary cycle that belongs in the repertoire of many a cellist. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Robert Moon
Audiophile Audition, May 2013

Cellist Ani Aznavoorian and pianist Auerbach are at one with the music and the recording is close and impactful. Anyone who loves the cello will savor the performances and be captivated by the music. Auerbach is certainly one of the leading voices of new music today, and this disc is worthy of her efforts. © 2013 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Terry Robbins
The WholeNote, May 2013

The 24 Preludes [for Cello and Piano]…are short, virtuosic and extremely effective pieces that explore the extreme ranges of both instruments.

The Cello Sonata is another terrific piece…Again, warm, lyrical passages are found alongside sections of dissonant and technically challenging writing, in what is clearly a very emotional work. The Postlude is a…haunting ending to a simply outstanding CD. © 2013 The WholeNote Read complete review

John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, April 2013

Cedille producer and engineer Adam Abeshouse recorded the music at The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, State University of New York, in August of 2012. The sound is smooth and natural, miked at a moderate distance that provides both detail and warmth. We also hear a mild reverberation lending a soft glow to the proceedings. It’s all very soothing yet very clear and focused. © 2013 Classical Candor Read complete review

Bob McQuiston
Classical Lost and Found, April 2013

…Ani Aznavoorian[’s]…playing, made all the more demanding by a variety of cello special effects, reveals a technical mastery only matched by her great sensitivity for Auerbach’s emotive music.

Ms. Aznavoorian is accompanied by the composer…Together this dynamic duo delivers dazzling performances of these works, which should remain definitive for some time to come.

With award-winning audio maven Adam Abeshouse at the controls…no wonder this CD sounds so good! © 2013 Classical Lost and Found Read complete review

David Hurwitz, April 2013

…the performances are sensational. Auerbach is a superb pianist, and she handles her own frequently virtuosic writing with aplomb. Ani Aznavoorian plays a mean cello, both here and in the Cello Sonata. Auerbach also makes evocative use of microtones both here and occasionally in the preludes as well. It’s an interesting addition to her expressive arsenal, particularly when they appear in a tonal context.

The sonics are gorgeous, with perfect balances and a very realistic perspective. Fans of good contemporary chamber music will want to own this; it repays repeated listening and reveals Auerbach as a true force in today’s music. © 2013 Read complete review

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