One of the most gifted and prominent of all twentieth-century Lithuanian musicians, Balys Dvarionas was a musical polymath who excelled as a composer, pianist, conductor and teacher. He viewed his native country’s folklore as a fundamental part of his artistic heritage and his aesthetic ideas were formed under the influence of nineteenth-century Romanticism. His violin works occupy a special place in his oeuvre. The Sonata-Ballade is his violin masterpiece, full of idiosyncrasies and luminous warmth, while the miniatures encompass subtle charm and effortless virtuosity.
For the first time complete original works for the violin and piano, including some of world premier pieces, were recorded in May 2017 by a Lithuanian violinist Justina Auskelyte and an Italian pianist Cesare Pezzi in collaboration with Baltic Mobile Recordings and released by Naxos Records.
Visit www.dvarionasproject.com for more information about the release!
#DvarionasProject is sponsored by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Some recent Reviews about the Recording:
"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 Steve Arloff - MusicWeb International, September 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 Bob Barnett - MusicWeb International, May 2017
"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 Denton - David’s Review Corner, May 2017
"Dvarionas's violin and piano works, written from the 1940s to 1970, are an important part of his output and are well served by these lyrical and impassioned performances from Lithuanian violinist Justina Auskelyte and Italian pianist Cesare Pezzi. Several of these offerings are charming miniatures, (...). 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."
© 2017 Jack Sullivan - American Record Guide, Sept./Oct.2017