Rachel Kolly d'Alba - Press




Cdlyrical journeyDistinction SUPERSONIC of the magazine Pizzicato : " Both composers, Guillaume Lekeu and Richard Strauss, were twenty-two years old when they wrote their unique violin sonatas. Strauss wrote his six years before Lekeu, and later he remained faithful to orchestral music. Lekeu had no chance to write another sonata, as he died of typhus at the age of 24.

Despite their early creation, both works already have an expressive and individual touch that is directed towards the artistic future. While the tonal language of Strauss remains relatively traditional, but contains improvising elements, Lekeu's composition has numerous chromatic elements and surprising twists. The slow movements are intimate and intense. Both sonatas are technically and musically very challenging for musicians.

The two additional works arranged by the two performing artists, a melody by Lekeu and a song by Strauss, both of which were created at the same time as the sonatas, are also fine compositions. The German idiom is opposed to the Belgian-French idiom. This means that two differing views of the world are side by side, which still fit together perfectly.

Both artists have been playing together for a long time and therefore have a deep understanding of each other's musical thoughts. This leads to an intensive and seamless dialogue without any compulsion. On the other hand, they also bring in different ideas, as in this recording.

While the desire for Lekeu came from the violinist Rachel Kolly d' Alba, the pianist Christian Chamorel brought Strauss into play. Together they have created extraordinary interpretations of the two sonatas. The technical requirements are simply transferred with their class, although these should not be underestimated. Strauss' expressiveness is still a little more moderate, probably due to the composer's lack of development into large-format and opulent orchestral works.

"I doubt I will ever encounter another performance of Elgar’s Piano Quintet that so absolutely captured the ardour and beauty of this gorgeous score, those moments of nostalgia in the outer movements having the aristocratic uprightness of the Edwardian England that Elgar pictured. 

The central Adagio’s wistful peace reflects the countryside, the warmth of the quartet of strings, lead by the Swiss violinist, Rachel Kolly d’Alba, creating a spontaneity that could only come from musicians who deeply loved the music they were performing. Adam Johnson was a tower of strength in a demanding role for the piano, though it was nothing compared to Faure’s Second Piano Quartet where page after page was black with notes. It is said to be a score that is loathed to reveal its inner secrets, but that was certainly not the case here, the passion of this intrinsically French score emerging with poetry and stature in playing that was immaculate. Above all it was the acoustic of the Priory chapel that helped them to achieve such sensitivity and elegance, the song of the Blackbird, as portrayed by the flute of Dan Watts in Messiaen’s Le Merle noir, resonating around this visually delightful space." DAVID DENTON for Yorkshire Post, St Hilda’s Priory, Sneaton Castle 

“Her electrifying intensity and deep involvement with the emotional narrative of each piece makes an indelible impact and feels like a throwback to a golden age when making music felt like an act of celebration. (…) d’Alba’s hypnotic performance is a triumph of interpretative incandescence as she weaves in and out of the music’s surging textures.” Julian Haylock reviewing “French Impressions” in "Strad Magazine"

" The best Swiss soloist in one century! With Rachel, we can finally hope swiss artists will play a major role on international stages. It has been quite calm, recently..." K. Luhers-Kaiser - Sonntagzeitung