Virtuosi Ilya Gringolts, violin, and Dmitry Kouzov, cello, perform three great duos—two from the 20th century and one from the 21st.

The graceful, expressive and witty Duo for Violin and Cello by Hanns Eisler, written when the composer was 26 years old, is a multifaceted work showcasing the composer’s brilliant intellect. Best-known for his long artistic association with playwright Bertolt Brecht, Eisler always took care to make a deep connection with his audience.

In Jörg Widmann’s 24 Duos for Violin and Cello, from 2008, the two instruments approach the sound of a string quartet at times. “They attract each other, reject each other, love and hate each other,” the composer writes. These performances are the world premiere recording of the entire set of both volumes of Widmann’s 24 Duos.

The album concludes with Maurice Ravel’s great Sonata for Violin and Cello. Dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy, the sonata is always a favorite with audiences.

Gringolts and Kouzov form a superb duo. Both are highly sought-after soloists and consummate chamber musicians. They perform with precision and excitement, undaunted by challenging music.