Anna Maria Staśkiewicz & Bartosz Koziak released a new album with Kodály, Ravel, Martinů violin and cello duos

Two outstanding Polish musicians, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz and Bartosz Koziak, have prepared a special program presenting most interesting pieces written for rarely-heard duo: violin and cello. A new CD has been released by Sarton and includes pieces written by Zoltán Kodály, Maurice Ravel and Bohuslav Martinů. The premiere concerts took place in Budapest Music Center and the Polish Institute in Berlin in the last days of June.

The Duo by Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967) was written in 1914, shortly after the return from ethnomusicological expedition the composer has made together with  Béla Bartók. The Duo had its premiere in Budapest only after the first world war, in 1918. The piece is rich in elements of Hungarian folklore which results from Kodály's conviction that “the works of art that exert the most powerful influence... are those that express most fully the national characteristics of the artist.”

Four years later, in 1922, French composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) achieved his Sonata for violin and cello. Dedicated to the memory of Claude Debussy, this piece is characteristic for its light texture and beautiful melodic lines. Ravel speaks about his oeuvre as follows: “Sonata for violin and cello dates from 1920 [when the composer started working on this piece], the time when I was moving to Montfort-l'Amaury. I believe that this sonata marks a turning point in the evolution of my musical career. The austerity is pushed to the limit. Harmonic charm is renounced, and there is an increasing return of emphasis on melody.”

Ravel's Sonata has probably been the source of inspiration for newly arrived in Paris Bohuslav Martinů (1890-1959), who composed his first Duo for violin and cello in 1927. Composer's biographer, Harry Halbreich, wrote that this piece is characterized by “ravishing rhythmic and polytonality, characteristic to the Parisian period of Martinů”. The virtuoso finale (Rondo) is particularly impressive, as the instrumentalists create the effect of echo.

The album is available at The CD has been recorded in The Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice. The album has been published with a support of the Polish Institute in Budapest and the Balassi Institute. 

The CD release will be followed by the concerts which we are now scheduling for 2017 and 2018. Booking:,