Chopin recordings are so readily available nowadays that
the dedication behind each of them is too easily forgotten.
Whether it is a short selection of the 24 Études
one of the full-scale works,
and orchestra members alike invest great energy to make
each performance a special tribute to the composer’s creative
personal relationship and musical
never be taken for granted. In their latest recording with Divine
Art, husband and wife team Anthony Goldstone and Caroline
Clemmow have taken up the formidable task of presenting
Chopin pieces rescored for two pianos. After a quarter
century and with three dozen acclaimed CDs behind them,
the British pair is today counted amongst the world’s premier
piano duos. This collection covers the rare version of
the Piano Concerto No.2 for two pianos and the world
première of various Chopin-Goldstone compositions.
is instantly recognizable in the duo’s reading of the Concerto
with once part contributed by Chopin and the by one of
the composer’s notable students, Carl Mikuli (1819-1897).
This arrangement balances poetry with thrills and colour.
The reduction never sounds cheap on the piano. What makes
this work a favorite in today’s performing world is its
lyricism and probing inwardness. This arrangement has found
the ideal interpreters in Goldstone and Clemmow.
remainder of the CD concentrates on shorter musical gems.
Listen to Mr Goldstone’s delicious reworking and blending
of the Chopin Revolutionary Étude [Op.10 No.12]
and the Raindrop Prelude [Op.28 No.15] into what
he calls the Revolutionary Raindrop Rag. You will
find yourself hard to resist the toe-tapping beat - pure
fun. Goldstone’s creative talents do justice to the language
of Chopin yet add a teaspoon of contemporary music idioms.
love for the voice came out in his songs and in his love
for the Rossini operas. The Chopin Songs are notably
the best in the Polish repertoire. The Variations on
a Theme of Rossini - the only known work from the composer
written for the flute and the piano – is an early piece
from 1824. It is based on the aria ‘Non più mesta accanto
al fuoco’ from the finale of Rossini’s opera Cenerentola. The Variations shared
the same time-frame as the wonderfully ambivalent Rondo
in C Minor, his Op. 1. Chopin accorded the flute some
lovely tunes but underplayed its possibilities. With Goldstone’s
piano duet version fuller justice is done to the flute’s
grand and florid themes.
programme can at times be a little sugary. Take as examples
the Chopin-Corder Valse in D Major Op.64 No.1 or
the Brahms-Goldstone Études after Fr. Chopin [on
extending the Étude Op.25 No.2]. However, the emphasis
is on tunes and on displaying the duo’s pianistic skills:
legato, rippling passage-work and ringing chords. Essentially
we are treated to the whole Romantic stock-in-trade except
for the darker emotions. The duo focuses on the soulful
and the lyrical.
was one of those rare pianist-composers who rose above
style and period. Without a little Mozartean elegance,
the Romantic ardour would be buried. Too much excitement
does this music no good either. Goldstone and Clemmow know
exactly where to take you with this music.
Patrick P.L. Lam, MusicWeb International
Works on This Recording
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