Le Gris Et Le Vert (The Grey & the Green)
- (Duo Transatlantique)
- Format: CD
'[Maud Laforest and Benjamin Beirs] have many things in common, such as starting their musical apprenticeship before elementary school. However, certain things distinguish them as well, making them furiously complementary. For example, Maud Laforest lives entirely for the prestigious and serious universe of illustrious classical composers, while Benjamin Beirs voluntarily confesses some infidelities to his classical repertoire that he sprinkles with more varied and heartfelt influences, such as blues or flamenco. As a duo they offered to the public a classical recital of a rare freshness and modernity. In pieces by Bach, Haendel or Manuel de Falla, their fingers moved with an almost magical agility. Never was an extraneous sound heard, such as strings left too soon or buzzed, and yet they played purely unamplified in a hall bathed by a religious silence. Benjamin Beirs and Maud Laforest are resolutely virtuosic and their concert elicited many reactions of admiration. Certain people such as Christine, who is just beginning the classical guitar, are enthusiastic: 'their playing is magnificent and inspires me enormously.' Karen and Franck are completely ecstatic: 'it's the best concert we've ever heard.' Others leave the concert almost depressed, like Daniel: 'happily, I gave up the guitar 20 years ago.'' -A review from a concert given for GuitarManiaks in Colmar, France "I ended last weekend on a high note when I decided to go to the Duo Transatlantique's recital at An die Musik on Sunday evening. Guitarists Benjamin Beirs and Maud Laforest are recent Peabody graduates, and Beirs is continuing studies at Peabody. Their debut CD was on sale the evening of the recital, and I had to buy it. Some highlights from the recital program which are also on the CD include Pierre Petit's Toccata (which quotes Gershwin's 'An American in Paris') and arrangements of Debussy's 'Clair de Lune' and 'Premiere Arabesque.' (The Arabesque turned out to be the source of the signature tune for Jack Horkheimer's syndicated Star Gazer TV spot.) I was also intrigued by some Bach-like works by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. In the program's closing arrangements of de Falla's 'El Amor Brujo,' Beirs and Laforest's fingers sometimes appeared to be floating just above the strings, coaxing out rather than physically plucking the notes of this fiery music." - From a review by Clayton Koonce at a concert at An Die Musik, Baltimore, MD, USA.