Double Play

Cedille Records: CDR 90000 047
Double Play: Twentieth Century Duos for Violin and Cello
Rachel Barton Pine, violin
Wendy Warner, cello
Martinu: Duo No. 2 (1958) 
Schulhoff: Duo (1925) 
Ravel: Sonata (1922) 
Kodály: Duo, Op. 7 (1914)

Wendy Warner makes her first Cedille recording, along with young virtuoso and childhood friend Rachel Barton. The twentieth century has proved a golden age for big, virtuosic duos for violin and cello. Violinist Rachel Barton and cellist Wendy Warner, major-league soloists and lifelong friends, present these duos that give equal stature to both instruments. Martinu's Duo sustains high energy, especially in the Poco Allegro third movement, which features a wild refrain theme and bariolage (bowing involving rapid shifting between strings). Fellow Czech Erwin Schulhoff offers a persuasive merger of folk and contemporary elements, combining traditional Central European folk rhythms with modern string effects, such as left-hand pizzicatos and high harmonics. Ravel's large-scale sonata is so challenging that the violinist who gave the premiere chided the composer: "It must be fun writing such difficult stuff, but no one's going to play it except virtuosos." Ravel smiled: "Good! Then I shan't be assassinated by amateurs." Kodaly's Duo blends Hungarian folk materials with the formal structure of art music. Particularly striking is the Adagio's trio-like middle section in which the cello provides a bowed soprano melody and a plucked-bass accompaniment as the violin spins a counter-melody in the alto range Miss Barton and Miss Warner both grew up in the Chicago area, and studied at the Music Center of the North Shore (now Music Institute of Chicago) in Winnetka, IL, where they played in the same string quartet. The two played Brahms' Double Concerto in A minor in 1996 with the Chicago Youth Symphony in Chicago's Grant Park Music Festival, a performance which inspired the Chicago Tribune's Dan Tucker to write, "Barton, Warner are 2 of a kind: brilliant . . . This was a memorable concert; let us hope for more like it."


"Rachel Barton and Wendy Warner are major virtuosos who collaborate like best friends.… The players' coordination and virtuosity are reminiscent of those of the best string quartets of today (think Emerson), and the generous program is vividly recorded. A superb disc in every respect. Encore!" — Editorial Review -

"Barton and Warner play this demanding music with virtuosity, virility, and the ability to play an accelerando that really goes over the top… Their Ravel balances lyricism with technical brilliance in a performance that rivals Jaime Laredo and Yo-Yo Ma." American Record Guide, International Record Review


Bohuslav Martinu (1890-1959) Duo No. 2 (1958)

I. Allegretto
II. Adagio
III. Poco Allegro

Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942) Duo (1925)

I. Moderate
II. Zingaresca: Allegro giocoso
III. Andantino
IV. Moderato

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Sonata (1922)

I. Allegro
II. Tres vif
III. Lent
IV. Vif, avec entrain

Zoltan Kodály (1882-1967) Duo Op. 7 (1914)

I. Allegro serioso, non troppo II.Adagio III.Maestoso e largamente, ma non troppo lento