Our twelve recordings (so far)
The superb Duo Concertante husband-and-wife team of pianist Timothy Steeves and violinist Nancy Dahn add another stellar CD to their discography with Franz Schubert Music for Violin and Piano.
THE WHOLENOTE (TERRY ROBBINS)
On this, their 12th album, the husband-and-wife duo of violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves strike the right balance, playing with uncanny unity of purpose, whether they’re spinning a heart-rending melody (the Andante of the Fantasy in C Major is especially beautiful) or bringing the ruckus (the Rondo in B Minor builds to a thrilling conclusion).
CBC MUSIC (ROBERT ROWAT)
Full of magic, vulnerability and mystery, we took 20 years to fully explore these masterpieces before recording them.
Release: Marquis 2019
Nothing detracts from the pleasure of listening to the performances on this disc. The Khachaturian stands out as particularly compelling, but no doubt others will find their own favourites. Tasteful style, courteous and elegant musicianship, and technical ease are featured throughout by all three performers. One supposes, or hopes, this won’t be their last such collaboration.
A wonderful collaboration with clarinetist, Christine Carter.
Release: Marquis 2017
One of my favorites.
The esteemed Canadian composer and our dear friend Clifford Crawley composed these 18 original holiday arrangements for us shortly before his passing in 2016. His tremendous creativity as a composer/arranger, skillful handling of a wide range of styles, unexpected turns of phrase, and witty and colourful harmonies are on full display throughout this special album. We are joined by the wonderful Christine Carter, clarinet on five of the tracks. Perfect Light was the 2018 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year.
Banish any prejudices you may have about contemporary classical music being inaccessible or overly complex, and hit play on Incarnation, the amazing new album from Duo Concertante featuring five new Canadian works. It’s seriously good.
CBC FIRST PLAY (ROBERT ROWAT)
This recording of works written especially for the Duo features The River is Within Us by Andrew Staniland, Chants du Cœur by Denis Gougeon, Cœur à cœur by Alice Ho, Petrichor by Jocelyn Morloch, and Incarnation, for electric violin and piano, by Chan Ka Nin. Incarnation was the 2017 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year.
There’s warmth, clarity, sensitivity and empathy to spare, with crystal-clear violin lines, faultless intonation throughout the most difficult passages and a thoughtful and always sensitive piano contribution. You tend to run out of superlatives with performances like these, and there’s simply not much you can do other than sit back, listen and be carried away by the complete artistry.
THE WHOLENOTE (TERRY ROBBINS)
Wonderful, intelligent, passionate playing! Bach for today. What more could one want?
WIENER ZEITUNG (VIENNA)
The 2017 ECMA Classical Recording of the Year!
Duo Concertante, the Newfoundland-based duo of violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves, have followed up their outstanding set of the complete Beethoven Sonatas with an equally satisfying CD of Double Concertos for Violin, Piano and Orchestra by Felix Mendelssohn and Andrew Paul MacDonald. Marc David conducts the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. The Mendelssohn D Minor Concerto is performed here in the version with winds and timpani… The grace and lyricism of the mature composer are already in evidence. Dahn and Steeves both display the perfectly judged tone and style that made their Beethoven set such an outstanding success, as well as shining in the virtuosic passages. The MacDonald Double Concerto Op.51 was commissioned by Duo Concertante some 15 years ago… It really is a very attractive and convincing work. The Duo has performed both concertos numerous times since then, and the two works are perfect companions on a really attractive CD.
An exciting collaboration with Marc David and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, this album is dedicated to Gerry Germain, a great supporter of the arts in Newfoundland and Labrador. We were very happy to record Andrew MacDonald’s concerto, which we commissioned in 2000.
Dahn has impeccable control over her bow. Her playing is modern but never heavy-handed, clearly influenced by some of the livelier bowing techniques promoted by historically informed soloists.
Steeves is the ideal partner in these pieces, matching Dahn’s nuance for nuance in phrasing, dynamics and rhythm. It may seem self-evident to do this, but the degree to which these two artists play as one is not something we can take for granted. As the CD booklet points out, these 10 sonatas are a musical landmark not just for their expressive power, but because they represent the first point at which a composer treats both instruments as equals. There is no accompanist here, just two collaborators. How fitting that they be performed by life partners. The recording made at the Glenn Gould Studio last year is so good right down to the tiniest of details that it deserves to be called a reference in the contemporary performance of these 10 great pieces.
MUSICAL TORONTO (JOHN TERAUDS)
Integrated performances that flow naturally as if the music were being created on the spot.
A monumental and incredibly meaningful project for us. The masterful and canonic Beethoven Sonatas are the centerpieces of the duo repertoire but also integral parts of our daily lives. We were very fortunate to be able to record this 3 CD set with David Jaeger, producer and Dennis Patterson, engineer.
Release: Centredisc 2010
The performances on this disc are immensely praiseworthy. Both Dahn and Steeves have outstanding command technically and musically, and the tight quality of the ensemble playing speaks to years of successful collaboration. Throughout there is an intense energy to the playing, coupled with a remarkable ability to project a spacious quality in open-textured passages. Even in dark passages, the playing is never overbearing. This duo has an exceptional ability to hold every note in suspense and captivate the listener, no matter how disparate the compositional styles that are present on this disc.
CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF MUSIC LIBRARIANS NEWSLETTER (JON GONDER)
Our second recording of new commissioned works. It includes Chan Ka Nin’s Late in a Slow Time with Barbara Budd narrating the poetry of Carole Langille, Supernatural Love by Kati Agócs, and Duo for Violin and Piano by R. Murray Schafer. We also included Schafer’s Wild Bird, written for Jacques Israelievitch and originally composed for violin and harp. The Duo for Violin and Piano won the Classical Composition of the Year Award at the 2011 Junos.
All the arrangements on this spectacular recording are by the British-born Canadian composer Clifford Crawley. I certainly hope the … arrangements on this recording will be made available for other musicians to play. They are simply too good not to share.
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
The late, great Clifford Crawley did all of the arrangements on this recording. They include Jazz favourites such as A Night in Tunisia (Gillespie) and Black Orpheus (Bonfá), a Richard Rogers medley entitled It’s a Grand Night to Fall in Love with the Most Beautiful Girl on a Carousel, Mozart’s Turkish March, opera favourites such as Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix (Saint Saëns) and the Humming Chorus (Puccini), Shostakovich’s Sabre Dance, Tico Tico (de Abreu), and more.
Release: Atma 2004
The performers are excellent at portraying all of these musical ideas with technical polish and emotional control. For those curious about where music may be headed, this is a fascinating and thought-provoking program.
AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
Of Heart and Homeland
Release: Atma 2002
The musical bond between this Newfoundland-based husband and wife duo is evident upon the very first hearing, making this recording a convincing follow-up to their debut “À deux.” One doesn’t listen to a program of violin music here, but to real chamber music, as it should be. For example, the second movement of the Janacek Sonata, the Ballada, seems suspended between poetry and romance, the fluidity of the piano intertwining intimately with the poignancy of the violin.
LA SCENA MUSICALE
Of Heart and Homeland was a joint production with CBC Radio Newfoundland and Labrador. Francesca Swann served as producer. The recording includes the Janáček Sonata, Manuel de Falla’s Suite populaire espagnole, Shostakovich’s Three Fantastic Dances, Bedrich Smetana’s Aus der Heimat, Dvořák’s Balada Op. 15, Astor Piazzolla’s Le grand tango (Nancy’s arrangement), and Michael Parker’s In Memoriam.
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Release: Atma 1998
Here is a unity of thought one rarely encounters as musicians clamber over each other to carve out solo careers. Both virtuosos in their own right, Steeves and Dahn have chosen to channel their talents into one flawlessly harmonious package.
THE ST. JOHN’S TELEGRAM (PETER JACKSON)
There is a cool fire in Duo Concertante’s Beethoven, fire in the playing, coolness in the sound. Dahn can’t play a single thirty-second note without making it sing as if it thought it was the Queen of the Universe. After three years of this musical partnership, she and Steeves have reached that enviable plateau in any chamber music collaboration where each thinks each other’s thoughts.
THE HALIFAX HERALD (STEPHEN PEDERSEN)
Our debut recording featuring Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, the Ravel Sonata, Stravinsky’s Dance Russe, and the FAE Scherzo by Johannes Brahms.
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