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"Where global powers are currently declaring new hostilities, music culture is constantly delivering a humananistic antithesis. The booklet text of a new CD that the cellist Konstantin Manaev recorded together with his artistic (and life) partner Julia refers to "emotional proximity". Smirnova has just recorded for the ARS label. It offers haunting, discoverable music, presented on a playfully spectacular level, on which this highly motivated string pair can never be relied on."
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