Busoni, Satie, Debussy, Casella, Poulenc - Music for Piano Duo | Somm SOMMCD0178

Busoni, Satie, Debussy, Casella, Poulenc - Music for Piano Duo


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Label: Somm

Cat No: SOMMCD0178

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Chamber

Release Date: 1st December 2017



A new release from SOMM to lift our spirits in no uncertain fashion! Distinguished composer-pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown combined their considerable talents in 2011, thus forming a piano duo brimming with ideas not only centred on the classics for piano duo repertoire, but also with a strong commitment to searching out neglected masterpieces performed to great acclaim in their various concert tours. They have revived, among others, Debussy's exotic ballet masterpiece Khamma. Set in ancient Egypt, it appears here as a first recording in the version for four hands. British composer Anthony Herschel Hill who died last year also features here for the first time with Nocturne, a beautiful if intense elegy for two pianos, and a tribute to a composer of among many other works, 24 symphonies and 14 concertos whose true worth is yet to be fully appreciated.

Other, no less-important offerings on this disc are Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica, a work of dazzling technical insight composed in 1910 for solo piano and re-arranged in 1921 for two pianos. For all its modernity, Busoni's veneration of Bach becomes apparent in the Fantasia's structure and technique strictly rooted in the antique idioms of Bach. The rebellious, ingenious, subversive Satie provides some light relief with his Trois morceaux en forme de Poire and the Jacobson-Brown Piano Duo contribute yet another unusual collection for piano duet, the Italian Casella's spiky, wayward Pupazzetti ('Puppets') - perhaps a tribute to Stravinsky whose Italian premiere of Petrushka Casella conducted. Finally our two pianists end their hugely entertaining disc with Poulenc, another restless, mischievous spirit whose Sonate for four hands is an enthralling mixture of jazz, Stravinsky, Satie and even Bartók!

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