Maria & Nathalia Milstein
In August 2019 Maria and Nathalia release their second album on MIRARE, Ravel Voyageur. The album already received lavish reviews in the international press such as BBC Music Magazine, de Volkskrant, Trouw and was awarded a Diapason d'Or by the French music magazine Diapason!
To order the CD please click on the cover.
"Sisters Nathalia and Maria Milstein explore the influence of time and place on Ravel’s chamber music. A chronological programme highlights his development superbly, with fine sound and impressive virtuosity."
BBC Music Magazine, December 2019
"The result is a universe of new sonorities and resonances from another world. And of course, there are the Milstein sisters. Originally from Moscow (although Nathalia, the youngest, was born in France), their individual itinerary is rich: family of eminent musicians (no connection with Nathan Milstein); famous teachers such as Ilya Grubert, David Takeno and Augustin Dumay for Maria, and Sergueï Milstein, Nelson Goerner and Andras Schiff for Nathalia. […] the sisters deliver their most beautiful album to date.
From the Posthumous Sonata, [the listener] is overcome by the sense of phrasing and the intelligence of a balanced dialogue. The Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques, transcribed by Maria Milstein herself, finds the right tone between simplicity and tenderness, and the purity of the resonances of the piano is marvellous. The pure modalities of the Berceuse on the name of Fauré pierce the heart. [...] Tzigane is beautiful, executed with fire while remaining in control - as it should - and allows to fully admire the richness of the Bergonzi violin entrusted to Maria: what a sound! Excellent idea, finally, to round the album off with the Pièce en forme de Habanera."
Diapason - Diapason d’Or, September 2019: Michel Stockhem
"...how do you play a piece in which a Frenchman juggles his own native language with an African-American genre? The Milstein’s approach it with Cartesian clarity, with modest swing and taste for the humorous side. In the Tzigane, Ravel's take on gypsy music, Maria Milstein pushes the bow vigorously on the strings, never crossing the limits of good taste. In the meantime, Nathalia Milstein is one of the top accompanists at the piano. From delicate chimes to a rough chord: she doesn't play keys but makes music."
**** Volkskrant, October 2019: Guido van Oorschot
Small town, friendly streets, calm atmosphere; that is Montfort-l'Amaury, west of Paris. Maurice Ravel lived there for the last sixteen years of his life in a picturesque house that stands out amongst all the other buildings. Le Belvédère indeed offers a beautiful view of its surroundings from the balcony.
The booklet of the second CD by pianist Nathalia and violinist Maria Milstein elaborates on Ravel's environment. His special and highly personal taste, the curiosities that he collected around him and the exotic atmosphere that you taste when you take a look at this French home are linked to Ravel's music on the CD “Voyageur”...Their playing is intense, with insightful glimpses. The sisters explore the limits of tension and relaxation and offer a transparent representation of the pieces, which stimulates the imagination of the listener. Their ensemble playing is completely natural. Is it because of the family bond?
Whatever the case, if you have seen Ravel's residence [in Montfort l’Amaury], you will recognise his very precise and exploratory spirit on “Voyageur".
****Trouw, 25 October 2019: Frederike Berntsen
In 2017 Maria and Nathalia Milstein published their first CD "La Sonate de Vinteuil" on the MIRARE label, with works based on Marcel Proust's literary work "In Search of Lost Time". The CD immediately received high accolades from media throughout Europe, for the inevitable musical connection of family members, and the innovative programming. The duo performs in halls such as the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, BOZAR in Brussels, the Philharmonie in Essen and the Teatro Ristori in Verona.
To order the CD, please click on the cover.
"Milstein is a big personality with her own very recognisable sound. This already makes her a rare breed in the violin universe. Her tone is full of nostalgia, depth and a certain fragility – reminiscent of the young Menuhin... There are no technical limitations. The sisters feel totally free to play as fast and as soft as they want. The result is breathtaking."
Biëlla Luttmer, de Volkskrant, 10 November 2017
"The programme of this CD alone deserves the highest acclaim. The theme is very intriguing, though it is rather the atmosphere of the "belle époque" that the Milsteins try to capture here rather than the solution to the Vinteuil riddle... violinist Maria, with her expressive tone and acute sense of line and direction, and her sister Nathalia, who supports flawlessly and with initiative from beginning to end. It is a pleasure to finally hear the Saint-Saëns Sonata given the serious attention that it deserves. It is absolutely not soggy madeleine-music, but powerful and pure nostalgia, as Swann and Proust experienced it a century ago."
Peter van der Lint, Trouw, 10 November 2017
"Maria and Nathalia Milstein confidently master all the technical challenges and are always searching for the lost melody in the spirit of these works, resulting in playing of rich and reflective tones. In the slow movements especially, Maria Milstein lets her violin breathe wonderfully so that, as Proust writes in his novel, one almost 'has the illusion of hearing a singer.'"
Bayerische Rundfunk, 9 November 2017
"...handsomely performed...A charmer of a disc"
Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk, 4 November 2017
"They inhabit this work and are attentive to every note and every detail of the score…The Milstein sisters possess an infallible virtuosity without ever being flashy. The second movement [of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Sonata for Violin and Piano No 1] is luminous, charming, expressive and graceful, with cut-diamond precision… This recital shows immense musical maturity and is a delight from start to finish."
Aurélie Moreau, Classica Magazine, November 2017
"The salon-like intimacy of the balance between the violin and the piano is totally appropriate, and the transparent detailing of the textures seems effortless, too. It’s hugely enjoyable, however much you know about Proust."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 20 October 2017
About Nathalia Milstein