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Searching: Works for Percussion Duet, by Vivaldi, Bach, Albéniz, Prokofiev et al. / O Duo (Owen Gunnell, Oliver Cox)


Notes & Reviews:

Percussion has found its place in mainstream music making, with one piece of evidence being the number of new works and arrangements for today's virtuoso players including Owen Gunnell and Olly Cox, the 'O Duo'. This, their second album for Champs Hill Records, features a wide range of arranged and original repertoire from Bach and Vivaldi to Philip Glass and Fraser Trainer. Described by The Daily Telegraph as 'brimming with style and panache', the O Duo represent the highest in artistic quality, exhibiting a passion for commissioning new repertoire and dedication to education work.

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
These are excellent musicians, and the emphasis is on subtlety and poetry, allowing us to view percussion as much more than just racket and rhythm. Of the transcriptions, Albeniz's Suite Espanola, Vivaldi's Presto from The Four Seasons, and Shostakovich's D-major Prelude are particularly beguiling. Ligeti's Musica Ricercata VII and Philip Glass's 'Mad Rush' are delicate. The layers of sound in the Ligeti reveal just how beautiful an all-percussion piece can be.

O Duo's own contribution, 'Searching' (the album's title work) is full of surprise and variety, both in mood and instrumentation. Prokofieff's early C-major Harp Prelude works so charmingly it sounds like it was written for percussion. The recording is exceptionally sensitive and alive; every quiet marimba and vibraphone tingle can be heard as they travel up the listener's spine.


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