Again the unusual double year copyright to this companion record to the earlier posted Solos and Duos, with mostly the same players except Catherine is out and the iak pair of Dudziak - Urbaniak are in, but we have the great Sigi who was such a standout in the last outing, Jasper and Joachim on duelling pianos, and Hinze again reprising as producer.
You can tell it's the other twin to the earlier record because of the identical layout of the sleeve. This time it's Sigi who is featured in the cutout, and the others are easily recognizable by the instruments. Kuhn is by far the best looking of the bunch, although it's difficult to tell with the iak couple because of the abundance of hair. When I think of what an incredible master of his piano Kuhn is, this is the kind of guy I would have a crush on if I was female, rather than Justin Bieber...
What about the music?
Well, Larry does not shine on this, I was expecting more from him for sure, with his virtuoso technique and formidable compositions. Did he also leave his best work hidden away for his solo albums and bring out the remnants? Two of the 3 parts of the suite are interpretations you will note. Pay attention to the ridiculous classical ending, if you can bring yourself to have the patience to listen to the bitter end-- I was forced to because I was recording the track without kids around. Sometimes you almost wish those kids were there to distract you.
The children suite is remarkably beautiful, a composition by Hinze-- what an underrated performer he is today. These passages through meditative time and space are well worth the price of the record, on their own. And how delicately Schwab and van 't Hof play behind the flautist!
Menuettes is indeed a voice-violin duo, which some may love and most I imagine will detest, I daresay there are some who will want to shoot the speakers when Dudziak gets into the monosyllabic animal sounds, or maybe they are dolphin whistles and screeches, well such is musical taste. Their other duo later is a little more listenable but the screeching from both violin and voice may be a problem if there are any human beings or raccoons around.
Again, Kuhn's solo is all over the place. I would love to hear someone explain to me what he's getting at with his crazy Jarrett-like sliding phrases and constant shifting chords that don't develop into anything dramatic or climactic, but I guess it must be an extended improvisation, I just can't get past the first couple of minutes to hear it through, it bores me horribly. I know when we love someone we will forgive them anything, so I guess my love is very shallow because my crush on him is like, so over.