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Review: The Litwin-Markiw Duo

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As a lover of all music I find myself often taking chances on a new band or artist that a friend has been going on about.  The adventure of exploring the songs of a new CD is something I feel I will always cherish.

That said, as a 24-year old male and lead singer/guitarist of an aspiring Alternative-rock band I rarely find myself listening to anything that could fall under the classification of Classical music (unless of course you count the Beatles' Because which features Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata played backwards).

And that's not to say I don't have an appriciation for or soft-spot in my heart for the Classical genre.  As far back as I can remember my father would play Bach and Beethoven regularly as he would correct papers on weekends or even while just enjoying a glass of wine with my mother.  My oldest brother apparently had such a fondness for the music that in between blasting Aerosmith or Rush in his bedroom one would not be surprised to hear Beethoven's Third Symphony or one of Mozart's many, many works gently massaging his ears.

This is why having the chance to listen to a new artisit tackling the Classical genre was a nice break from the norm and sometihng that I knew I could (and would) appriciate. Luckily I was not let down.

The Litwin-Markiw Duo features Victor Markiw (affectionately known as Vic by his many adoring students at the University of New Haven) masterfully on piano and Jennifer Litwin showcasing a phenomenal vocal range and prowess.  The two began their partnership in 1997 and have been artfully crafting their concert setlists ever since.  This disc is the culmination of their long running musical alliance.

Through each of the twenty-two tracks Markiw's timing and touch is nothing short of perfection.  Listen to track-10 Pantomime from about the one-minute mark on if you want to hear immaculate control over an instrument as temperamental the piano.  Litwin shows just how beautiful her voice can be throughout the entire seventeenth track Vocalise.  Her sustain and vibrato could be described as simply radiant.  Though you could really say that for her vocals over the whole CD.  She has such command over her voice it is as though singing comes as naturally to her as breathing.

The CD clocks in at just over an hour (1.1 hours to quote iTunes exactly) but I never once found myself looking at the time-bar during any song nor at any clock to determine just how long I've been listening (and that's a lot more than I can say for certain indie-bands I've heard so many great things about...I'm looking at you MGMT).  And you can chalk it up to my unfamiliarity with not only this CD but Classical music in general if you want, but when I did finally pull up iTunes to see where I was in relation to the end of the disc I realized I was back listening to the first half all over again.  Put more simply, this CD was such a pleasure to listen to that I didn't realize it had started again once it finished.  It was straight relaxing and soothing; the type of CD you could fall asleep to with a smile on your face.

If you're a fan of Classical music I think you will have a hard time not enjoying this disc.  If you're not a fan of the Classical genre I suggest you take the chance to broaden your horizons with this compilation.  It really is an experience worth having.  5/5


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