Notes and Editorial Reviews
Few composers wrote better salon music for piano than Moritz Moszkowski (1854-1925), whose solo etudes and character pieces are always fun to hear, at least in the hands of pianists who ooze technique and charm. And like all good salon composers, Moszkowski contributed his fair share to the late 19th/early 20th century piano duet boom. His four-hand output consists of 12 multi-movement suites, mostly containing pieces in dance forms. They range from teaching pieces like Le maître et l’élève (the student plays a simple five-note accompaniment underneath the teacher’s more elaborate treble part) to virtuoso knucklebusters like the Op. 25 German Dances’ Tarantella. A complete recorded survey of Moszkowski’s duets has long
been overdue, and happily, Domenico Monaco and Michele Solimando deliver the goods with masterful pianistic aplomb and irrepressible style.
They bring an appropriately deadpan lightness of touch to the Op. 33 Allegretto Humoreske, and revel in the Op. 8 Waltzes’ strangely massive chordal tuttis without making them sound heavy. Humorous accents and piquant hesitations add local color and character to the two Mazurkas from the Op. 55 Polish Folk Dances. Piano duet mavens are likely to know the Op. 12 Spanish Dances, which were among the few four-hand Moszkowski scores readily available before the internet age. In fact, I used to love reading through them with friends, although we never perfected No. 4 to Monaco and Solimando’s unusually brisk and suave specifications. The duo makes an accelerando in the No. 5 Bolero’s final measures that is not written in the score, yet the gesture drives the music’s exultant dynamic build-up home to close the deal, so to speak. Brilliant Classics’ sonics are close-up and well defined, save for a slightly claustrophobic and constricted effect in loudest moments. Another catalog gap triumphantly closed!
-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Kaleidoskop, Op. 74 by Moritz Moszkowski
Domenico Monaco (Piano),
Michele Solimando (Piano)
Be the first to review this title