Phoenix Story

Duncan Druce
Gramophone (UK)

Cello Twins, their instincts in the right place, tackle a mixed programme.

The Ng brothers, twins, were born and brought up in Australia, prior to studying in the UK. David Tong, originally from Macao, moved to Australia as a child. All three artists show impressive technical accomplishment; Tong is entirely at home with the virtuoso aspects of both sonatas, and the twins both possess beautiful, well centred, expressive tone – I’d not find it easy to tell them apart. The sonatas are recorded with a spacious acoustic that allows the full splendour of the keyboard-writing (Rachmaninov’s especially) to emerge, but without swamping the cello sound. As to the interpretations: all three players have the right instincts – projecting the intense lyricism of the Chopin and responding to the more dramatic contrasts of Rachmaninov’s idiom …  The two pieces that comprise Phoenix Story sound wonderfully deep and rich in the Ng brothers’ admirable performance.