As they continued playing with grace and fire, one of the monuments of the violin-piano repertoire breathed anew… Having just completed recording all ten Beethoven sonatas, their familiarity with the material was evident in this superb performance of the “Kreutzer,” unquestionably the highlight of the recital. The two played up the rich contrasts between fury and repose in the first movement, traded off Beethoven’s idiosyncratic melody splits in the wondrous second and finished with a triumphant mass of non-stop energy in the third.
THE WHOLENOTE (PAUL ENNIS)
Their musical devotion to ‘two equal and dynamic voices’ is perfectly highlighted in this superb new recording… Dahn and Steeves are placing their performances against Mutter, Kremer, Stern, Menuhin, Grumiaux, Dumay, Szeryng, Perlman, Heifetz and every other stellar violinist of this century and last. What makes these Canadians have the courage to stand with giants? I’m not sure of the answer to the last question, but stand they do, and stand confidently in and among them.”
AUDIOPHELIA (ANTHONY KERSHAW)
Violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves do Atlantic Canada proud in their splendid new set of Beethoven’s complete violin sonatas… The lasting impression they make is of deeply integrated performances that flow naturally as if the music were being created on the spot. Both Dahn and Steeves speak from within; they listen to where Beethoven is going and align themselves instantaneously to his direction. They can be engagingly rustic and emotionally sweet…or breathe fiery dialogues into easily clichéd sonatas. They mine Beethoven’s lyrical vein throughout. The opening bars of the final sonata, op. 96, are a miracle of such knowledge and poetry.
One doesn’t listen to a program of violin music here, but to real chamber music, as it should be… Suspended between poetry and romance, the fluidity of the piano intertwines intimately with the poignancy of the violin. Never do [they] sacrifice beauty of sound for the sake of virtuosity, making it obvious that, for [Dahn and Steeves], impeccable technique never gets in the way of artistry.”
LA SCENA MUSICALE
Majesty, passion and excitement… Inspiring!
WEINER ZEITUNG (VIENNA)
Duo Concertante impresses with their technical brilliance, but their musicality is even more special… They play the works of Beethoven, Bach and Schubert with stunning clarity—[and] often begin passages as if from nothing and then grow to explosive climaxes. The Schubert in particular unfolded as if from within a vast orchestral soundscape. This recital was a highpoint of the Pianoforte series.
RHEINISCHE POST (GERMANY)
They obviously play with one mind… There is a synergy between them that comes from more than just playing together. They breathe the same air.
VERNON MORNING STAR
Duo Concertante play exceptionally well together… The unifying element here is not so much the attractive repertoire as the exceptional warmth and intimacy of its presentation.
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
Vigorous, passionate, red-blooded and romantic… Dahn and Steeves make a strong, sympathetic and like-minded pair.
CBC SOUND ADVICE (RICK PHILLIPS)
Their approach is serious, free of fuss and showiness… Both have plenty of technique which they put entirely at the service of the music. In close rapport, their phrasing and expression are unanimous. These two fine players deserve a much wider hearing.
NEW YORK CONCERT REVIEW (EDITH EISLER)
The wonderful teamwork of this pair [brings] out subtleties and nuances that are lost when lesser teams attempt them… Their level of preparation is really stunning, the fruit of close partnership for some years now. They work together with uncanny perfection, and they get everything right. Splendid concert!”
THE GAZETTE, WATERLOO
Dahn and Steeves are superb musicians.
Duo Concertante made a powerful case for thinking of violin/piano sonatas as duo music, rather than as music for a pianist and a violinist.”
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE
Two packages of musical dynamite that would credit any stage in any city in any continent on the planet!… They [play] with the kind of virtuosity that doesn’t draw attention to itself but makes you hold your breath anyway.”
THE HALIFAX CHRONICLE HERALD (STEPHEN PEDERSEN)
[This] young violin piano duo is among Canada’s finest!… Whether trading themes back and forth, or exchanging dynamic and textural nuances, Steeves and Dahn wove their way through all three movements [of Mozart’s K.378] with a warm, gracious ease that veterans of decades together might envy.
THE WATERLOO CHRONICLE, KITCHENER WATERLOO
Two excellent players!