Boldly Expressive! Music by Women!

"This collection of violin-and-piano music from the 19th and 20th centuries is an odd intersection between the "conservative" resurrection of tonality and the "progressive" programming of neglected women composers. Both are well served in these committed, vividly recorded performances."  Sullivan, American Record Guide

"This CD, which appeared in 2000, presents four works recorded here for the first time. Kobayashi and Gray approached the compositions with confidence and energy. They present well-crafted, appealing performances.."  Ricarda Dietz, VivaVoce (Frau and Musik Internationaler Arbeitskreis e.V.), Germany

“The cd 'Boldly Expressive' consists of works for violin and piano by six women composers. The 'Grande Sonate' by Marie Grandval alone makes this small anthology worthwhile: fascinating is the music written by this contemporary of Johannes Brahms! But the premiere recordings of Johanna Senfter and Serra Miyeun Hwang are quite impressive thanks to the beautiful performance by violinist Laura Kobayashi and pianist Susan Keith Gray.”  Patricia Werner Leanse, Radio Monalisa; Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Kobayashi / Gray Duo announces the release of its first compact disc, Boldly Expressive! Music by Women, on the Albany Records label. Violinist Laura Kobayashi and pianist Susan Keith Gray play works by six women composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This disc is a culmination of ten years of joint research and performances by the Duo of music for violin and piano by women composers.

The composers represented on this disc are Rebecca Clarke, Marie Grandval, Johanna Senfter, Serra Miyeun Hwang, Barbara Heller and Grazyna Bacewicz. Their works are stylistically distinct and combine to show tremendous depth over the one and a half centuries represented. Clarke is the most well known composer of the set; Midsummer Moon displays her impressionistic style. Grande Sonate, Op. 8 by Grandval was discovered by Kobayashi in a collection of women's music at The University of Michigan libraries. She found a significant nineteenth century piece and worked with Gray to edit a modern edition for Hildegard Publishing Company (1998). Two short works by Senfter are in post-romantic style. In 1994, the Duo commissioned fellow doctoral student Hwang to write Allegory. Lalai by Heller was composed in sympathy for Iranian women prisoners during the reign of the Shah. The fifth sonata of Bacewicz is representative of a significant volume of music by this twentieth century Polish violinist, pianist and composer. The first four works on the disc are premiere recordings.

Albany Records Troy 372

21 April 2000