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The early nineteenth century was an era of great stylistic changes in music, as composers searched for new forms of expression and tonal possibilities, which spurred rapid innovation in the field of instrument design and manufacturing. A larger sound spectrum and greater variety of technical possibilities became a defined ideal. Ludwig van Beethoven and Friedrich Kuhlau were musical giants of their time, both seeking to exploit fully the potential brought by these new developments. Beethoven’s Serenade bends the boundaries of Classicism with impulsive dynamic changes and contrasting motifs, while Kuhlau’s Grande Sonate Concertante eagerly explores a more Romantic aesthetic, containing an expressive freedom in its virtuosic writing and rich harmonic textures. The juxtaposition of Beethoven and Kuhlau’s music on this recording is inspired by the two composers' first and only encounter in Baden on the 2nd of September 1825. This charming moment in music history is remembered with a canon Beethoven wrote on the text 'Kühl, nicht lau' (cool, not lukewarm), a friendly pun on Kuhlau's name.

"the playing is outstanding and both instruments sound great"
CD Hotlist, April 2020