Press comments

Auftakt!, 3-2016:

The title and programme of this new CD from Duo Consensus is Musica Italiana. It contains the music of Italy, spanning the baroque and romantic periods. Duo Consensus reveals a very delicate tonal quality of high transparency paired with technical perfection and simple elegance. Accentuation is tastefully combined with cascading runs. The combination of guitar and mandolin is able to give strong expression to cantilena passages, whereby dynamically gripping passages profit from the stronger presence of the superb guitar. Naturally, not all the works were originally written for guitar and mandolin. The works were originally composed by Romaldi, Vivaldi, Leone, Calace and Munier. For variety, the works of the first composers are played on baroque instruments.

The booklet in several languages contains brief biographies of the artists and composers as well as information on the special features of the respective epochs regarding instrumentation and playing technique. This CD is a highly recommended purchase and not only for enthusiasts of these instruments (MB).

Duo Consensus

Auftakt!, 1-2015:

LJZO Brandenburg-Berlin, led by Christian Laier, really attracted attention in the next competition entry. Playing Dance Poeme by the Japanese composer Hiroshi Oguri, a piece completely unknown in Germany, the young and ambitious ensemble showed off the wealth of nuances they could draw on. In any event, the young conductor Christian Laier proved a surprise on competition day in the mandolin orchestra category. With panache and energy, he demonstrated exactly what conductors are supposed to be able to do. The musicians were able to follow every motion of his baton and lips. (Werner Franconi)

Elbe-Jeetzel-Zeitung, 25 March 2013:

The gently plucked notes of the guitar blend smoothly in behind the expressive, dominant highs of the mandolin. The two instruments combine to create a sound which is nicely harmonically balanced. [...] In a well-rounded programme, Duo Consensus performed a selection covering the full range of music for the guitar and mandolin, and captivated the audience with their playing, which was as expressive as it was passionate. (A. L. Oehlmann)

Phoibos, 2/2011:

With its debut album, the young duo presents itself very impressively.

The recordings on this CD are of such a wonderful subtlety that they leave it up to the listener how deeply he or she would like to plunge into the underlying issues. Its transparent lines draw an almost vivid picture of the development of neo-classical pieces with folkloristic elements towards the highly stylized modern compositions with barely definable traditional roots.

The well-developed theme, the carefully compiled program, the amazingly thorough CD booklet, the clear interpretation, the mastery with which both artists bring musical complexity with transparent lightness to stage, speak for their great potential at all theoretical and practical levels of music. This CD is an absolutely successful overall package that leaves you wanting more. (Sandra Kebig)

Concertino, 3/2010:

In duet, the music-making of these two young artists creates an attractive timbre, with finely shaped phrasing and expressive playing. Melodic phrases are juxtaposed with incisive elements; powerful rhythms and rapid interactions merge to form an homogeneous entity. Highly recommended!

Gitarre aktuell, II/10:

Laier and Kumst form a homogeneous, dynamic duo which not only delights in revealing the musical delicacies of the highly demanding repertoire they perform, but also demonstrates the successful collaboration of the two stringed instruments.

Thüringer Allgemeine, 13 March 2010:

The 'Duo Consensus' go back to their album 'Alba del dia - Dawn' on the Classical Guitar literature; the title of the CD, which has been recorded at the studio of the Weimar Music College 'Franz Liszt', is being borrowed from Joaquin Rodrigo. Karoline Kumst and Christian Laier also have played pieces of the composers, who have been born in the 50s, Maximo Diego Pujol and Celso Machado.

The mixture of popular, such as Piazzollas in four movements 'Histoire du Tango' and the pieces of younger masters do make this CD quite interesting. In Pujol's 'Aires Candomberos', the pop-influence is visible, they are procreating however the endurance and validity of the at least hundred years old Tango and South American Folklore tradition, which is much older. Certainly, with respect to modernity, Piazzollas 'Concert d'aujourd'hui' is also rarely surpassed by young composers.

 Kumst and Laier do not shine on their CD not only with a high virtuosity -this is presuppositionless, but also with an all the time comfortably impacting sound beauty, in the cheerful Allegretto grazioso from Castellnuovo-Tedesco or in Rodrigos stronger Aria antigua,which 'Duo Consesnsus' voices out with a lyrical and cool breath. The Machados "Musiques Populaires Brésilliennes" sounds buoyant-folkloric and warmhearted; the Samba 'Pé de Moleque' is the most beautiful proof for the excellent, never superficially routine joint playing of the both Instrumentalists.

Thüringische Landeszeitung, 24 February 2010:

Guitar and mandolin duos are rarely heard of these days. However, the duo Consensus, who played in the vaulted cellar of the city library this Saturday, definitely deserves to be among the well-known. Not only does Christian Laier on the mandolin and Karoline Kumst on the guitar play their respective instruments masterfully, but also in regard to chamber music they are a far cry from a merely casual musical ensemble. [...] A perfect gem of the first half of the programme was undoubtedly Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in D Minor. Christian Laier's superb execution of the music line was full of nuances and dynamic; each ornament was given its apt setting, every run was cleanly played, while Karoline Kumst's carefully balanced but spirited performance was more than simply a continuo, but a refreshingly active participative and creative accompaniment. The Varations op. 281 of Carlo Munier just before the intermission not only demonstrated the virtuosic past of the mandolin, but once again and quite specifically the virtuosity of the interpreter, Christian Laier. The composition made considerable demands on him, but, nonetheless, he mastered every technical hurdle brilliantly, ... (Reinhard Jungrichter)

Goslarsche Zeitung, 11 June 2009:

... Whatever the terms used to describe this concert - "exceptional, remarkable, unusual" - may have conjured up, was transformed into "harmoniously wonderful" already in the opening piece. Guitar and mandolin and these two young artists - she in her early, he in his late twenties - are more than just a good match. [...] It is no coincidence that, translated from Latin, their name means "accord, harmony", which the two musicians demonstrated with ease during the Beethoven piece. ... (Angela Potthast)

Concertino, 3/2008:

The end of the first half of the concert was filled by one of the prizewinners of the first Heinrich-Albert Guitar Contest, Karoline Kumst from Erfurt, who had won a first prize in the age group III. She played the first movement of the "Sonata E-minor" by Heinrich Albert, three movements - Loure, Bourrée and Gigue - from the lute suite E-major BWV 1006 by J.S. Bach and a 'Concertino' by Johann Kaspar Mertz. In the movements of the Bach-Suite I most liked the clearly differentiated phrasing of the performance and the disciplined tempi - especially within the Gigue that brought to light very nicely the dance-like character of the individual movements. The Mertz 'Concertino' was technically brilliant and impressive, yet at the same time stylistically confident. Especially tonally the soloist seemed very convincing - a young artist of whom we will hopefully hear again! (Mirko Schrader)

Concertino, 1/2008:

On August 7th, the 'Duo Consensus' gave a concert in the Kaisersaal Schwarzburg performing a varied programme out of the 18th and 20th century. The excellent interplay between Karoline Kumst (guitar) and Christian Laier (mandolin) did not only appeal to the listeners during the sonata 3, op. 1 by Gabriele Leone, but also during the American compositions by Stephen Funk Pearson, Chris Ruppert and Jeffrey Harrington.

Thüringer Allgemeine:

With technical perfection, with an eye for detail and a lot of enthusiasm the concert was an acoustic and optic event.

Thüringer Allgemeine:

The listeners were surprised what sounds could be elicited from these two stringed instruments.

Starnberger Merkur:

With Dusan Bogdanovic's 'Jazzsonata' Karoline, born in Erfurt, lifted her guitar in meditative spheres with a gentle poetry of sounds. In her poetical performance she seemed to be one with her instrument. With a constant and concentrated clearness she reached full-blooded, Spanish expression.

Thüringer Allgemeine:

With Rodrigos popular 'Concierto de Aranjuez' , Karoline Kumst convinced with a virtuous and dynamic, richly differentiated performance.

Thüringer Allgemeine:

With a musical sense of expressive nuances and highly virtuous, Christian Laier (Mandolin) recently performed brilliantly. The audience is the Cyriaki-Chapel was thrilled.