Release Date: June 22nd, 2018
Label: New Focus Recordings
Genre: Contemporary Classical Music
Produced with GRAMMY-winner guitarist William Coulter, Duo Noire’s critically-acclaimed debut album features premiere recordings of works they commissioned from six highly accomplished and diverse women composers across the world: GRAMMY-nominee Clarice Assad, Courtney Bryan, ECM Artist Golfam Khayam, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Gity Razaz, and Gabriella Smith.
"Once you hear the sheer musicality of its premiere recordings of six new works for duo guitar, and how wonderfully they are played, you may be tempted to award the album several more [gold stars]...the depth, variety, and range of colors is astounding... There's a goldmine of ideas and feelings here, whose riches will unveil themselves more and more over time."
"A TRULY PATHBREAKING RECORDING THAT IS GREATLY SATISFYING IN ITS OWN RIGHT."
"Flippin and Mallett, virtuosos who invest their performances with energy and conviction. To claim that the two break new ground in the world of classical guitar music on the hour-long release isn't overselling it"
NEW MUSIC BUFF Review:
"...they even seem to be expanding the very possibilities of a guitar duo...It appears to be a landmark release."
I CARE IF YOU LISTEN Review:
"Thanks to delving into this refreshing and musically diverse offering from Duo Noire...listeners will expand their understanding of the kinds of sounds that may be drawn from this beautiful instrument…the Duo achieves their sonic explorations with an impeccable sense of ensemble and easy musicianship that sounds like they’ve been playing together for decades. The disc is a delight."
THE ARTS FUSE Review:
Mallett and Flippin play the whole program with terrific panache. Indeed, it would be hard to imagine more engaged or sympathetic performances of any of these pieces and the guitarists’ command of the varied stylistic demands between all six is faultless. An important disc, sure, but, even more, an inviting one that takes you to some fresh places well worth experiencing.
LIMELIGHT MAGAZINE Review:
“The music really is terrific: original, colourful, exciting and taking advantage of everything two guitars have to offer in the way of technique, tone and timbre. It helps that the music also has such talented advocates, who embrace opportunities to improvise and embellish with style and gusto…[a] marvelous recital.”
AN EARFUL Review:
This [is a] brilliant album…[they] expand the repertoire for two guitars in marvelous ways…the works both transcend and exemplify the characteristics of the instruments…[with] the Duo’s phenomenal technique…the collection is a delight throughout…compulsively listenable…The album…is a complete success on all counts.”
CLASSICAL MODERN MUSIC Review:
"[they are] talented exponents of the contemporary classical guitar, with technique to spare and an interpretive acumen that serves them well...The result is a sort of state-of-the-art view of what we can understand and appreciate today...It is thoroughgoing, most musical in design."
"DUO NOIRE PLAY WITH STUNNING TECHNIQUE AND DEEP MUSICIANSHIP. The new repertoire on this recording expands the horizons for the classical guitar duo. The pieces traverse various musical landscapes and bend genres into new shapes. The idea of commissioning female composers is wonderful, as they are sadly underrepresented in the classical guitar world. Bravo to Duo Noire for this amazing sonic adventure, working with them is an honor and a joy." - William Coulter, GRAMMY-winning guitarist.
"BOTH THE PIECE AND THE PERFORMANCE ARE INCREDIBLE. It is a really exciting contribution to the repertoire. Congratulations!"
- Marc Teicholz, Professor of Guitar at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 1st Prize: Guitar Foundation of America Competition.
I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Where Classical Guitar Meets Minimalism (2014)
"Figments, composed by Raymond Lustig and performed by the virtuosic pair, Duo Noire (Thomas Flippin and Christopher Mallett) is a unique and entrancing album that exists at the unusual intersection of minimalism and impressive classical guitar technique...The impressive technique displayed by Duo Noire is perfectly suited to Lustig's delicious compositions, and you wouldn't regret getting a hold of this; if you like acoustic guitar, bluegrass, minimalism, blues -or music at all- you'll definitely enjoy this excellently produced and mastered album."