‘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.’

John Allison, BBC Music Magazine (London), April 2019: Penderecki and Lutosławski CD review (Delphian Records)

‘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.’

Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine (London), February 2019: ‘The Great War Centenary’ CD review (Challenge Classics)

‘Scottish violinist Michael Foyle and Estonian pianist Maksim Štšura have one of those perfectly meshing musical partnerships that is a joy to hear. Playing Beethoven’s ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata and Franck’s Sonata in A from memory freed them up to focus on their interaction as a duo with such complete unanimity that you couldn’t help but be drawn in.’

Mike Wheeler, Music&Vision (Derby), November 2017

…’The Foyle-Štšura Duo [is] a fine partnership, and clearly a dedicated one, playing everything from memory. In Lutoslawski’s Partita there was punchy playing, with some fierce, vibrant G-string work. There were vivid contrasts in ad libitum second movement, sometimes vehement, as others gently sur la touche, followed by a dynamic final Presto. In Mozart’s E minor Sonata K304 their playing was elegant and articulate, with just the right balance between drama and gentility. The clear, intelligent account of Debussy’s Sonata was refreshingly unindulgent but full of sparkling detail, with tonal beauty and incisive rhythmic clarity, balancing wit and poetry.
After the interval they performed Prokofiev’s Five Melodies Op. 35bis with character and a singer’s sense of line […]. As with the Debussy, the duo took a no-nonsense approach to Franck’s Sonata: the first movement flowed gracefully forward towards its climaxes, the second movement was vibrant and colourful. The Finale had many voices, including a light effervescence not always heard in this grand work. As an encore they gave a dynamic performance of Brahms’s ‘FAE’ Scherzo, with just a touch of schmaltz. ‘

Tim Homfray, The Strad (London), December 2016

…'[Michael] Foyle and his musical partner, Estonian pianist Maksim Štšura, proved themselves to be superlative musicians and technicians, and delivered a varied and demanding programme with considerable maturity. […] The two instrumentalists […] really are a ‘pair’, and play with astonishing mutual understanding, feeling and responsiveness. Both players performed the entire programme from memory. […] an assured rendition of César Franck’s enduringly popular Violin Sonata … Foyle and Štšura offered an unwaveringly engaging performance …this was certainly impressive and enjoyable playing.’

Claire Seymour, Seen and Heard International, July 2016

‘Schubert’s ‘Grand Duo’ was precisely that, two equal virtuosos playing wonderfully together, from memory … intensely rewarding concentration from both players and the audience. The communication between them was remarkable… It was no surprise that they received such thunderous applause.’

Andrew Connal, (Brighton), May 2016

‘Michael Foyle and Maksim Štšura impressed immediately… An excellent and well-matched duo.’

Colin Anderson, The Classical Source (London), January 2015

‘Krzysztof Penderecki […] stood forward to congratulate Foyle and Štšura on their performance of his 1953 Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano: fierce and fiery in its leapfrogging first movement, haunting in the violin’s Andante musings over the wandering tread of the piano.’

Hilary Finch, The Times (London), January 2015

‘The Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (1953) proved a highlight of this first Penderecki-focused programme, and also served as an ideal vehicle for the violinist Michael Foyle and pianist Maksim Stsura, who played it with compelling conviction.’

John Allison, The Daily Telegraph (London), January 2015

‘An extraordinary sense of ensemble playing.’

Toomas Velmet, Sirp (Tallinn), June 2014

‘An abundance of mature musical expression and a rare, seemingly limitless variety of tonal colour.’

Borbecker Nachrichten (Essen), May 2014

Foyle-Štšura Duo - Michael Foyle, violin and Maksim Štšura, piano