Conversa: Duos for Cello & Piano
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A lovely program of duos for cello and piano by North and South American composers.

Cellist Gregory Sauer and pianist Heidi Louise Williams perform a program of works for cello and piano by North and South American composers, including world premiere recordings of works by André Mehmari and Daniel Crozier. Both performers are on the faculty at Florida State University and enjoy careers as recitalists, soloists with orchestras, and chamber ensembles. Ms. Williams appears on three previous Albany Records releases, all of which have received critical acclaim. She has also recorded for Naxos, Neos, and Centaur. Sauer's discography includes recordings with MSR and Mark Records.
Contents:
André Mehmari, composer
Grande Baião II for Cello and Piano
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

George Walker, composer
Sonata for Cello and Piano
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Daniel Crozier, composer
Nocturne for Cello and Piano
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Carmago Guarnieri, composer
Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Samuel Barber, composer
Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 6
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

César Guerra-Peixe, composer
Três Peças
Gregory Sauer (cello); Heidi Louise Williams (piano)

Review:
A listen that brings the cellist Gregory Sauer and pianist Heidi Louise William to compositions by André Mehmari, George Walker, Daniel Crozier, Camargo Guarnieri, Samuel Barber and César Guerra-Peixe, the pair showcase a wealth of talent to the orchestral and chamber influenced affair. “Grande Baiao II For Cello and Piano” opens the listen with the firm keys rumbling with both grace and adventurousness, as the well timed strings complement the impactful climate, and “Sonata for Cello and Piano” follows with more focus on cello amid the quick and agile piano in a very melodic delivery. In the middle, “Nocturne for Cello and Piano” moves sublimely, as mood is manipulated with incredible poise, while “Sonata No. 2 for Cello and Piano” is even more intimate with the stirring strings making an emotional impact. The final two tracks, “Sonata for Cello and Piano Op. 6” and “Tres Pecas”, don’t disappoint either, where the former flows with both tension and beauty as the instrumentation ebbs and flows with dexterity, and the latter recruits a heartfelt and cautious demeanor where the duo’s chemistry is undeniable. A truly well thought out listen that includes a couple of world premiere recordings, both the artists have impressive resumes, and their collective strengths don’t disappoint, either. (takeeffectreviews.com)
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