Beyond The Wall

Beyond The Wall


AkMi Duo, ensemble

Valentine Michaud, saxophone
Akvilė Šileikaitė, piano

Release Date:

3rd November 2023

Cat No:



£13.49 (1CD Digipak | 20 page booklet)



“Šileikaitė balances Hindemith’s sweetness and gravitas … Michaud meets all its challenges” – Fanfare

“confident … impassioned … daring … flourishing” – Exclusive Magazine

“pristine clarity, terrific balance, superb technique, and keenly sensitive phrasing … an up-and-coming pair worth watching” American Record Guide

“exquisitely presented and performed … brilliant performances that stand out” – The Whole Note

“Michaud and Šileikaitė handle it with excellent rapport and a sense of strong mutual support” – InfoDad

“Michaud and Šileikaitė deliver strong performances … Michaud’s saxophone has a rich, warm tone, and one want to hear more from this new duo” – AllMusic


Valentine Michaud was the first ever saxophone soloist to perform with the Vienna Philharmonic. She and her regular collaborator, pianist Akvilė Šileikaitė, comprise the award-winning AkMi Duo. They debut on AVIE with Beyond the Wall, an album of contrasting 20th century sonatas linked by history and geography. Edison Denisov’s Soviet serialism, tinged with forbidden jazz influences, took a cue from the American modernism of William Albright.

Austro-Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff embraced avant garde and jazz idioms, leading the Nazis to brand his music “degenerate”; he perished in the Wülzburg prison camp in 1942. Paul Hindemith fell in and out of favour with the Nazis, leading him to immigrate to Switzerland and later America. His popular Saxophone Sonata is by turns lyric and dramatic, imbued with irony and humour.


PAUL HINDEMITH (1895–1963)
Sonata Op. 11, No. 4
1. I. Fantasie 2:57
2. II. Thema mit variotionen 3:5
3. III. Finale (mit variationen) 10:09

Sonata for alto saxophone & piano (1984)
4. I. Two-Part Invention 4:21
5. II. La follia nuova: a lament for George Cacioppo 8:10
6. III. Scherzo ‘Will o’ the wisp’ 1:54
7. IV. Recitative and Dance 4:15

Hot-Sonate (1930)
8. I. 1st Movement 4.15
9. II. 2nd Movement 1.50
10. III. 3rd Movement 4.09
11. IV. 4th Movement 4.32

EDISOV DENISOV (1929–1996)
Sonata for alto saxophone & piano (1970)
12. I. Allegro 3:22
13. II. Lento 3:25
14. III. Allegro moderato 4:20

Total Duration: 61:46

AkMi Duo
Valentine Michaud
Akvilė Šileikaitė, piano

Recorded: 13, 14, 18, 19 April 2023, Künstlerhaus Boswil, Switzerland.

Publishers: Schott Music (Hindemith); Edition Peters (Albright)
G. Henle Verlag (Schulhoff); United Music Publishing (Denisov)

Recording Producer, Engineer, Editor, Mastering (ADM): Max Molling


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