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The Carr-Petrova Duo is certainly worthy of attention / The Rehearsal Studio

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The Carr-Petrova Duo brings violist Molly Carr together with pianist Anna Petrova. They began playing together as students at both the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. In August of 2018 they became involved in the non-profit organization Project: Music Heals Us and launched an interdisciplinary project called the Novel Voices Refugee Aid. Their debut album Novel Voices is named after this project and is scheduled for release this Friday. As of this writing, the best place to arrange for pre-ordering is through the Web page for the album created on the duo's Web site.

The album is also named after its final selection, which is being given its world premiere recording. Written by Mexican composer Fernando Arroyo Lascurain, "Novel Voices" is a three-movement "tune without words" that reflects on encounters with children in refugee camps. The titles of the movements are "Stories and Dreams," "Dance of Uncertainty," and "Call and Prayer;" and they reflect the stories at the different camps visited by both the performers and the composer.

All the selections on this album are given perfectly acceptable accounts. Whether or not they are interpretations that will engage the curious listener is another matter. This is not to suggest a lack of expressiveness on the part of either Carr or Petrova. Rather, I tend to react cautiously to music that is presented in a context of social issues when it is perfectly capable of standing on its own in a recital setting. On the other hand the duo is certainly worthy of attention; and, if politicization serves to draw that attention, then perhaps they are working with a valid strategy.