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Barry Kilpatrick
American Record Guide, May 2017

…a beautiful reading. The conversation is quite meaningful in I, the sudden contrasts and interaction between driving rhythms and deep lyricism quite strong in II. The Adagio Mesto (III) is very dark, the moment where violin is marked ppp “quasi niente” quite ghostly, the ending sepulchral. The Finale is the desired opposite: a scamper, an affirmation of the joy of living. This account compares quite favorably with the best.

Both violin sonatas are played beautifully by these fine musicians. Vibrant sound. © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, January 2017

Not in a long time have I heard three such musicians “let the music speak for itself” and still have the sensitivity and intelligence to bring out the colors and contours of the scores with such vibrant sensitivity. Here are three musicians playing together who don’t even have a formal name for their trio, although I suspect that the violinist and hornist are married to each other, yet who approach the music of Brahms with a splendid combination of no-nonsense, bracing post-modernism and old-fashioned values like phrasing, rubato, and a wonderful use of dynamics. For the record, Kouzmanova-Vladar doesn’t play with straight tone but with a very light, tight vibrato, which is historically correct for this music. Hornist Vladar has a lovely tone that is pointed and compact, again historically right. Too many modern-day French hornists play this music (and other pieces from the same era or earlier) with the big, bloated instruments of today, which are designed to cut through a 120-piece band and whoop it up in Wagner. That doesn’t work for me, and it certainly doesn’t work for Brahms.

But this does work. © 2017 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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