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© 2019 CHENG² DUO

REVIEWS FOR RUSSIAN LEGENDS

"The siblings from Canada characterize themselves through a tremendous mastery of their instruments and all technical demands do not carry weight with them. But that's just the beginning.

 

Indeed the interpretations also fascinate with a range of expression and depth of presentation that really belongs to the finest. Bryan and Silvie Cheng perform with great feeling. This becomes clear, for example, in Shostakovich's sonata, which churns through the abysses of enduring human conditions, and which the two musicians also represent with overwhelming intensity. In doing so, they plumb the depths of dynamics in all directions. But they do not let a single moment go by without an ever cantabile playing with sensitively matured intonation.

 

So, they can be poetic, fiery, elegant, and introverted, whatever is necessary. Thus, they awaken the great Russian soul...with great intensity, but without sweet pathos. In this way they do justice to every character that these works demand."

— Pizzicato Magazine,

Luxembourg

"It's hard to imagine a more comprehensive collection covering the Russian repertoire for the cello and piano — or to imagine one played with more care and thoughts. The Duo, consisting of Bryan Cheng (cello) and Silvie Cheng (piano), take us through this diverse and challenging repertoire with equal measures of imagination, insight, tonal beauty, and structural power.

The balance between the instruments is well-nigh perfect, and the musical partnership is strong and unmistakable...A desert-island album if ever there was one." 

— ICI Musique,

Canada

"There is drama, even theatre in these interpretations. Russian music is full of twists, contrasts and emotional changes. Cheng² Duo plays with elegance and panache, but also with impressive sound power. We note especially the solid discursive architecture built by the two young artists...Like the performances, the program oscillates between powerfully incarnated lyricism, biting irony, sardonic humour, affective tenderness and airy sweetness."

— Large Stage Live,

Canada

"A gripping interpretation [of the Rachmaninov sonata]... Here, highs and lows are masterfully explored, and despite their youth, the artists bring an into-the-heart maturity to be listened to."

— ORF Radio,

Austria

"The Sonata for cello and piano in D minor by Dmitri Shostakovich marvels with playing that is as flamboyant and full as poetic, in which the ardor and sense of panache are combined with a wide range of nuances...With this album, the duo formed by brother and sister shows, once again, its great potential."

— ResMusica,

France

REVIEWS FOR VIOLONChelo del fuego

“The Cheng² Duo (Bryan and Silvie Cheng) plays a Spanish program with
arrangements for cello and piano on Audite. The siblings serve it both with
phenomenal virtuosity, but it is at the same time very atmospheric, while
Bryan Cheng on his Tassini cello achieves powerfully contoured bass tones
and the finest, tenderest heights with stupendous dynamics, sounding
always cantabile, always beautiful, always perfectly in tune, and absolutely
captivating.”

— Pizzicato Magazine,

Luxembourg

"This second recital disc by the brilliant cello and piano “Cheng Squared Duo”, the Canadian siblings Bryan and Silvie Cheng, is an all-Spanish follow-up to their Violoncelle français album of 2016. Mostly transcriptions, the familiar items — including Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas (the fifth, Nana, deeply if briefly expressive) and Albeniz’s Malagueña, from España — appear in fresh colours and afford much pleasure." 

— The Times,

UK

"What an incredible energy these two bring to the table!... The Spain of Cheng² is packed with fire and flames – who could resist the Dance of Wildfire, and of tenderness, of El amor brujo − Falla’s Siete canciones populares españolas are a wonderful achievement. Here is a strong and beautiful album, presenting – with perfect conviction – well-known works but in new formats, thus shining a new musical light onto them."

— Qobuz,

France

Spanish music, from Isaac Albéniz, Enrique Granados, Manuel de Falla to Gaspar Cassadó and Joaquín Turina is played by the young, award-winning Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng, born in 1997, with his sister Silvie Cheng on the piano, so idiomatically correct, that one can certainly get hot: vibrato serves here in most varied vibration as a color effect, not as a passepartout. The suddenness in the shifting of light and dark, absolutely established in the music of these composers, succeeds as quick as lightning and surprisingly. Cheng sings the melancholy without schmaltz; the bitterness he gets exactly. Thus de Falla's "Siete canciones" become razor-sharp character pieces and Cassadó's solo suite an affair of austere, severe, yet dreamy beauty.

“We are impressed by the poise and cleanness of the interpretations of the works of the composer-interpreter Gaspar Cassadó, summits of this discographic release....the overall work is flawless and the accuracy, impeccable.”

— Crescendo Magazine, Belgium

"Taken as a whole, this new recording presents a distinguished survey of that proud and magnificent Spanish musical renaissance of the early twentieth century. Silvie and Bryan Cheng fill every selection with the fire and passion which are so essential to this music."

— Large Stage Live,

Canada

— Süddeutsche Zeitung,

Germany

REVIEWS FOR VIOLONCELLE FRANÇAIS

"These are by any measure masterly performances - passionate, invigorating and wonderfully life-affirming…makes for very involving listening. The performance as a whole is tremendously ardent and virtuosic."

— MusicWeb International, UK

"Outstanding debut CD…Silvie Cheng’s hands glide from key to key, she weaves a sound carpet full of filigree patterns and spreads it out under the playing of her brother. Bryan Cheng storms up the scales sure-footedly, then prances triumphantly on the summit…he makes a dazzling appearance…one suspects that these two will be big successes."

— Fono Forum,

Germany

“Highly eloquent performances of a French program…it is especially a striking account of Debussy’s sonata that shows the talent of the Canadian Cheng² Duo. Extremely imaginative and personal interpretation…most interpreters don’t play Debussy’s feeling with such audacity as this duo does, and not so often does one truly hear the expression of this sonata's experimentality.”

“The two prodigies give a very clear interpretation, very constructed, very poetic…truly sublime. The two interpreters bring out and magnify the modernity [of the Debussy sonata] with an astonishing, striking, and subtle analytical reading. An extremely promising first record.”

— Clic Musique,

France

“All of the pieces are very happy classical hits, but performed with such feeling and enthusiasm and dedication. All of a sudden, all the melodies you may have heard a thousand times regain their innocence and beauty. This is a CD that will make sure that in the year 2525 there will still be young musicians who will again mesmerise us with centuries-old music.”

— VPRO Vrije Geluiden,

The Netherlands

“We are impressed! By the maturity and perfection of the cello-piano duo Cheng², the musical sensitivity of the two musicians…we hear a carefully-weighed chamber music teamwork, which nevertheless does not shy away from extremes in terms of dynamics and expression. Both musicians seem to have grown beyond mere youthfulness, despite their youthful age…all these pieces are presented with so much taste, sure flair for phrasing, and beauty of sound.” 

— das Orchester,

Germany

— Pizzicato Magazine,

Luxembourg

“An impressive debut recording…what was quite clear, after multiple listenings, was that this is an interpretation of the Franck Sonata to live with, and to return to frequently. This one work alone would make the recording a worthwhile acquisition, and then there are such riches in the rest of the programme as well.”

— Large Stage Live,

Canada