The Washington Post

Duo Leroy-Moubarak at National Gallery of Art

\Anthony Leroy and Sandra Moubarak. (Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art)

The Duo Leroy-Moubarak, a cello/piano couple, played as if they were married, which they are. They exhibited world-class musicianship and original, detailed ideas in a short program of Debussy, Saint-Saens and Franck at the National Gallery on Wednesday.

Cellist Anthony Leroy is immensely gifted; his unerring intonation and fastidious technique allow him to connect notes in long, logical phrases. One might sometimes wish for a bit more expressive self-indulgence in some of the more luscious passages, but his Gallic reserve suited the music well, particularly the Debussy Sonata. Pianist Sandra Moubarak doesn’t always achieve ideal clarity — she can sound a little flustered in the hardest spots and sometimes plays too loud for the cello — but the artistic communication between the two more than makes up for it. Their performances were clearly worked out with the utmost care over many rehearsals; I’ve seldom heard the quicksilver mood changes in the Debussy brought out with such natural unanimity.

In the Franck Sonata, Leroy nailed one big shift after another, at the fullest volume, evoking spontaneous applause after the second movement. Earlier, the “Romance” from the Saint-Saens Sonata No. 2 (they played only the one movement) was delivered with refinement and the same commitment as the two much-greater works that surrounded it.

These excellent young artists belong in higher echelons of the profession, and one hopes to hear them again soon.

Show Comments
Most Read
Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.