“If you're put off by the idea of a whole CD of just violin and cello (Aude Capuçon only joins brothers Renaud and Gautier for the final three minutes), think again! There's an impressive range both in the music, with its central-European theme, and the performances. The Bach transcriptions are splendidly spirited and stylish; one minor fault – difficult to avoid when playing Bach with a modern bow – is a tendency to exaggerate dynamic inflexions and the difference between long and short notes. The Bartók arrangements are wonderfully colourful and evocative; with such short pieces it's crucial to establish the character straight away, and the Capuçons do this every time.
The items by Karol Beffa were written expressly for the brothers. Each starts in meditative mood, with unclouded tonality, developing more complicated formulations as it proceeds, and each makes masterly use of the instruments' sonorities. The Martinu, dating from the year before his death in 1959, sounds remarkably full. The first movement is particularly attractive – if you imagine a mixture of Stravinsky and Dvorák, you'd be close. The Eisler, by contrast, is an early work, full of expressionistic outbursts, realised here with extreme vividness. The unfinished Duo by Gideon Klein (a young Holocaust victim) is rather more sober, intensely chromatic but not especially dissonant, and with powerfully concentrated melancholy expression.
All this music has a strong sense of time and place. Fritz Kreisler nostalgically evokes the Vienna of Johann Strauss, and here again the Capuçons get right into the idiom.”