Foyle-Štšura Duo’s recent releases receive praise from the BBC Music Magazine

Malcolm Hayes reviewed the The Great War Centenary (Challenge Classics, released 11 November 2018) in the February 2019 issue of the BBC Music Magazine:
‘Foyle’s playing is remarkable in its accuracy, tonal focus and impressive range of musical options: the violin’s opening phrase in Debussy’s Sonata sound unusually clipped at first hearing, but that’s how the composer notates it, and the work’s interplay of cool luminosity and melodic skittishness is deftly judged. Janáček’s magnificent Sonata requires, outside its haunting ‘Balada’ movement, a trenchant response from each performer, to which Štšura’s firm-toned piano playing makes a fine contribution. Respighi’s Sonata occupies more standard late-Romantic territory, but is a substantial creation nonetheless, delivered by both artists in sweeping style.’

The Great War Centenary was a ‘CD of the week’ on NPO Radio 4 and received the highest rating of 10 out of 10 from the Luister Magazine in the Netherlands (‘the duo delivers a dream debut’). Ivan Hewett, writing for The Daily Telegraph on 16 December 2018, complimented the ‘impassioned, richly detailed performances of three wartime works by Debussy, Janáček and Respighi, and a moving meditation on death and dissolution by Kenneth Hesketh.’

The duo’s CD with complete violin and piano works by Penderecki and Lutosławski (Delphian Records, released 25 January 2019) received plaudits from John Allison in the April 2019 issue (which also features an illuminating interview with Penderecki by James Naughtie):

’Lutosławski wrote Subito as a violin competition test piece towards the end of his life, and here it shows off the technique not only of the violinist Michael Foyle but that of the pianist Maksim Štšura. Short and (in places) explosive, it still reflects the slight stylistic softening of the composer’s later years. Both players catch its beauty, and they are equally persuasive in Lutosławski’s haunting Recitativo e arioso, earliest (1951) of the pieces here. More often heard in its version with orchestra, Partita is spikier, and Foyle and Štšura handle it with commanding aplomb. […] The Three Miniatures, Webern-like in their compactness, certainly belong to Penderecki’s avant-garde period, and the Sonata No. 1 is his first published work yet highly accomplished — and enjoyable thanks to this Scottish-Estonian duo’s musical intelligence.’

The Delphian Records’ CD was also appraised in the March issue of the Gramophone Magazine. Richard Whitehouse commended the ‘determined cohesion,’ ‘unsparing immediacy’ and ‘the many virtues of this disc.’