This may seem an unusual programme in some ways but the three Sonatas are contemporaneous, dating from between 1914 and 1917. The Ravel, placed here as an encore, was written in 1907.
Despite having been written around the same time, the works are quite different demanding differing styles of interpretation. It says much for the musical understanding of these musicians that the performances are most impressive. The Respighi, the largest work in the recital, receives a very convincing and illuminating performance, suggesting that this fine work has been neglected for too long. The Janáček, also recorded live at the duo’s Wigmore Hall debut in 2015, is equally good, its different characteristics very well projected in a convincing account
With the Debussy, probably the greatest of these three Sonatas, we enter a different soundworld, almost literally as the recording level of this work is lower, so those who wish to play the disc straight through should adjust the settings, restoring the original for the Respighi. Apart from this oddity, which is not serious, the overall recording quality is very good, especially for those pieces recorded at Wigmore Hall. The Ravel is quite hauntingly performed.
Despite the short playing-time of this CD, all-in-all this is an impressive debut recording by these very gifted young musicians, from which much can be expected in the future.