Swiss cellist Mattia Zappa and Italian pianist Massimiliano Mainolfi are making an excellent career, both as soloists and chamber musicians. Formed in 1994 during their studies at the Julliard School in New York, their Duo is highly successful: as well as winning numerous distinctions from international competitions, they played at the Carnegie Hall in 2001 and with the Berlin Philharmonic two years later. After a first CD dedicated to Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu ((CD 50-2803), they are back with Claves with, this time, a programme dedicated to music from the North. Christened « Lux Nordica », this album offers a surprising confrontation between two stars of Scandinavian romanticism: Norvegian Edvard Grieg and Swedish Jan Sibelius. Confrontation coupled with discovery – both are little known in this intimate field – and contrast, as writer Etienne Barillier so finely describes in the introductory notice: « The work of both musicians – whether it be drawing from popular sources or whether it be purely « learned » – radiates for us with the same very bright light, though never far from the night; a light rather like the sun of Nordic summers, more intense than that of the South, yet its intensity is coupled with suffering, as it holds within itself the permanent pledge of winter, just as we carry our own mourning.