Bartok - Complete Music for Two Pianos | Brilliant Classics 94737

Bartok - Complete Music for Two Pianos


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Label: Brilliant Classics

Cat No: 94737

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 31st March 2014



This 2CD set presents a complete survey of Bartók's music for two pianos. The works and arrangements here all stem from Bartók's special artistic collaboration with his wife, the pianist Dittá Pásztory.

From 1938, the couple began giving regular public concerts together, and this led the composer to write his version for two pianos of the Suite Op.4, an arrangement of seven of the pieces from Mikrokosmos, and the much‐loved Sonata for two pianos and percussion.

The works included here are testimony to Bartók's skilful and remarkably versatile approach to piano‐writing. In the Suite Op.4b, for example, Bartók radically revised the original orchestral score of the Suite Op.4 (one of his earliest works, and one of the first to bring to fruition the musical ideas that he explored after researching Hungarian music's rich folk heritage) to create a work that is so idiomatically pianistic that one would never guess it had originally been written for orchestra.

By contrast, the transcription of the brilliantly colourful ballet score The Miraculous Mandarin brings the dramatic orchestration of this controversial work to life. The pieces from Mikrokosmos were originally studies for solo piano - in the two piano arrangement Bartók transforms them into veritable virtuoso showpieces. 

The Sonata for two pianos and percussion is one of Bartók's most famous works and its striking rhythmic experimentation and consummate assimilation of folk influences mark the culmination of the composer's mature style.

Bartók's complete works for two pianos are complemented here by György Ligeti's Three Pieces for two pianos. Ligeti was greatly influenced by Bartók's legacy and went on to become one of the most important Hungarian composers of the twentieth century.

These challenging works are performed by acclaimed pianists Matteo Fossi and Marco Gaggini, who formed a piano duo while studying together in Florence in 2004. Their pioneering 'Two Pianos Project' aims to extend the scope of the piano far beyond the confines of its traditional repertoire and has given rise to many warmly received recordings.

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