Patrick Demenga / Thomas Demenga LUX AETERNA
"Few are prepared", wrote The Strad, "for the sensational panache, dazzling virtuosity and sheer musicianship that characterizes the Demenga brothers' playing", and Gramophone magazine has hailed the Swiss cellists' playing as "spectacularly assured". Patrick Demenga ( b. 1962) and Thomas Demenga (b. 1954 ) make an impact, wherever they play. "Lux Aeterna" is their second combined New Series recording, following the critically acclaimed double-album "12 Hommages à Paul Sacher" released in 1995, and it is the first ECM recording to feature them actually playing together. (On the Sacher discs they had shared the programme between them).
Each of the cellist brothers is secure in his own reputation and continues to lead a distinguished solo career; the duo exists to celebrate their shared commitment for music from the baroque to the present day. Theirs is, how-ever, an unusual instrumental combination, and strong cello duo repertoire being in short supply, the Demengas have commissioned pieces from outstanding contemporary composers - and composers, in turn, have also dedi-cated works to them.
The opening work on this ECM New Series CD, Alexander Knaifel's Lux aeterna, is one of the most fascinating, compelling, intriguing, and rewarding compositions ' and perfomances ' that I have heard for quite some time. The sounds that the Demenga brothers achieve, combining their two cellos with their two voices, are haunting and expressive. You will think at times when listening to this cut that you are listening to a chamber orchestra and choir. ... This CD would well be worth purchasing for the title cut alone, but there's more, much more, including a duo for two cellos by Thomas Demenga, a sonata for two cellos by Jean Barrière, which shows that the Demengas can also play expressively in music that the average music listener is more likely to find familiar in style, and compositions by contemporary composers Roland Moser and Barry Guy. ... All in all, Lux aeterna is a CD that will open up your ears and minds to the musical possibilities inherent in two musicians. (Karl W. Nehring, Sensible Sound)