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AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE
In May/June I reviewed a similar program by a Danish violin-guitar duo, Kim Sjorgen and Lars Hannibal. I responded warmly to that performance, but this one is even better. I was prepared not to like this, a self-release of a pair of young players with little information about the music or performers. I had to go to their websites to get their last names, beyond Almer and Jessica (come on, folks, the world needs adults). But I thoroughly enjoyed these performances. Though the scores do say "for flute or violin and guitar", I think the music works better on flute than violin. Certainly there are no double stops or specialized bowings that might be idiomatic for the violin but impossible on flute. Actually, any melody instrument can do these, but the parts seem especially right for the flute.
These are really elegant, tasteful performances. Pierce is a fine player with a lovely sound and a great sense of balance with her partner. She phrases subtly and beautifully and really understands this style. Imamovic is a fluid, somewhat understated player, but a solid partner who never seems to struggle.
Another advantage to this recording is that it does not include the frankly odd set of variations played by Sjorgen and Hannibal, but does include the Grand Duo Concertante, Opus 85. That is not as virtuosic or imaginative as the Gran Duetto Concertante, but it is quite lovely and has a ravishing melodic slow movement.
AlmaNova's Giuliani is some of the best I've heard.
-AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE/K.KEATON