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Music We Love

Viktoria Mullova (violin), Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass) (Onyx)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Music We Love
Works by JS Bach, Sumera, De Freitas, R Schumann, Hanoch, Misha Mullov-Abbado, et al
Viktoria Mullova (violin), Misha Mullov-Abbado (double bass)
Onyx ONYX4220   54:10 mins

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This new disc from the mother and son duo may be tricky to categorise but it is nonetheless a delight. Best known as a celebrated classical soloist, violinist Viktoria Mullova also has a growing reputation as an inventive musical collaborator and here joins forces with her double bassist son, a star of the jazz world, in this imaginative new release.

‘Music We Love’ could seem a bit of a cop-out as a theme, but the disc has a certain coherence despite its eclecticism, containing as it does everything from classical music, contemporary jazz, Brazilian jazz, folk songs and new works by Mullov-Abbado himself. For one, the blend of double bass and violin duo sounds like nothing else. The pairing at times feels spare and melancholy, such as in the duo’s intuitive account of Schumann’s ‘Träumerei’, but on other occasions feels as full and varied in timbre as a much larger ensemble, as in the exuberant O Cabo Pitanga by Brazilian jazz musician Laércio de Freitas. Other highlights include Brazil, a rhapsodic new work by Mullov-Abbado which opens with a slow, expansive violin solo before spinning off into an increasingly lively jazz number, while Sumera’s Theme from Spring Fly floats along with exquisite poise. Not every track quite comes off – the Adagio and Allegro from Bach’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin & Harpsichord feels a touch laboured and heavy – but this is for the most part a highly enjoyable disc with all the key qualities of a good mixtape: full of hits and surprises, and made with love.

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Kate Wakeling