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‘A program of French works will highlight the beauty and musicality evident when Guillaume Combet, violin, and Sandra Carlock, piano, join together.’  

John Sall, Music at Abington: October, 2016

‘Carlock and Combet are seasoned performers and dealt with the considerable intricacies of these Sonatas (Franck and Brahms A Major) with grace and precision.  Combet’s soaring tones heightened the more dynamic phrases of the works!  The Duo gave us the emotional lift of great music, wonderfully performed!’

Inside Dunwoody, Newtown Square: January, 2016

..."Two new discs from Somm and Chandos respectively, place Cesar Franck’s Violin Sonata in A Major centre-stage. Somm’s performers are Guillaume Combet (violin) and the American pianist (Oberlin Conservatory – Juilliard School) Sandra Carlock. The four movement sonata – with its popular, instantly recognisable allegretto finale – is played with love and care, {Somm's} performers finding all its late-romantic-era lyrical solitude and wistful tenderness. You are transported to the Belgian or French countryside, with an autumnal atmosphere, but without descending into melancholia. Franck’s sonata never wallows, but is full of shade, colour and purpose – the music telling a clear story, infused (as is Dvorak’s music) with that “conversational” touch and instant contact with the listener.

The Chandos label’s version of the Franck Sonata is performed by Tasmin Little and Piers Lane, and it is not possible to come down in favour of one version versus another ... Somm’s Guillaume Combet offers us an equally beautiful sound [as compared to Ms. Little's], but one sensed more of the “chamber” spirit – a more marked “vintage” in his rendition – so it is this version which one might turn to if a greater introspection is being sought. All in all, two equally brilliant CDs."

Stuart Millson, Classical Music Editor, 
Quarterly Review, May 2017

"This very successful disc contains three performances of fine musical insight, very well recorded.  These French violin sonatas from succeeding generations are well matched and each is shot through with the identifiable character of the individual composer.  These works make an engrossing programme....  This recommendable CD is such that one looks forward to further recordings from this well-matched team whose insight into this music is  of consistent depth of understanding. " 

                                                      James Palmer, Musical Opinion

                                                                  Quarterly, June, 2017

A Blue Icelandic Lake 

© Sandra Carlock Photography

"This was a second visit from  the Carlock-Combet Duo, and we've seldom heard a finer concert. Beethoven at his most delightfully lyrical, and Brahms at his most complexly textured, emotionally charged best.  Our two artists were unbelievably well coordinated…  Their very personal interpretation of such a virtuoso piece was impressive.   A  delightful Sicilienne  was an encore that was truly the crowning touch of this very special concert.  Let’s hope we hear more from this Duo in the future!"

       Inside Dunwoody, Newtown Square: March, 2017

RECORDING OF THE MONTH

 MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL 

"An imaginative and intelligent program this, all three works performed with style, panache and polish."

...The adorable, memorable melodies that form the opening and closing movements of the deservedly popular Franck Sonata are lovingly articulated and shaped by the Carlock-Combet duo, and they are nicely contrasted with the fiery, protesting yet yearning material of the second Allegro movement and the more inward contemplation of the Recitativo-Fantasia.

...the closing Allegro molto (of the Saint-Saëns Sonata) rushes headlong with sparkling virtuosity towards a glowing, majestic conclusion."                                                 

                                                                 Ian Lace,  June 2017

                                                                    Music Web International

"...So it’s good to find [the Poulenc Sonata] here: a more imaginative coupling for the Franck Sonata than the usual Fauré. In fact, it’s the highlight of the disc. The American-based Carlock-Combet duo has all the qualities necessary for this repertoire: Combet’s violin tone is rich and fluid, and Sandra Carlock commands a generous palette of keyboard colours, while Somm’s recording captures the piano sound, in particular, with realism and warmth. Their reading of the Poulenc is swift, volatile and ardent, with just enough of an edge of harshness in Combet’s playing to capture the work’s latent anger. The pair generate a powerfully sinister atmosphere in the outer sections of the central Intermezzo.

 

Saint-Saëns’s First Sonata rounds off the disc, and this dramatic performance is a useful corrective for anyone who still thinks of this composer as the epitome of bland Gallic polish – the moto perpetuo opening of the finale positively crackles with energy."

                                                     

                                                       Richard Bratby, Gramophone 

                                                                                    September, 2017