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Schubert: Unauthorised Piano Duos Vol 2 / Clemmow, Goldstone

Release Date: 01/02/2007 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 25039   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz Schubert
Performer:  Caroline ClemmowAnthony Goldstone
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


They're at it again. The indefatigable piano duo team of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow have been hard at work unearthing more hidden treasures from the classical repertoire: orchestral and chamber music arranged for piano duet or two pianos. A couple of years ago their first volume of "unauthorised" piano duos of Schubert's music featured The Trout Quintet, sparklingly rendered by this superlative husband and wife team of pianists, who sacrificed none of the character of the music in their interpretation of the transcription.

Now they have dug up a version for piano duet of the great B flat Piano Trio, which captures the spirit, the flavour and the zest of the vast and mighty
Read more trio. The arrangement was made by one Josef von Gahy, astonishingly not a professional pianist but a civil servant, though he must have been able to find his way around the keyboard as he was not only a friend but a regular duet partner of Schubert himself. A cracking disc for devotees of this genre, with a stunning transcription of the Arpeggione Sonata which catches all the grace, poise, and refinement of the work, along with its bubbling virtuosity."

-- Michael Tumelty, Glasgow Herald

The history behind this disc is interesting. Joseph von Gahy was not only a lifelong friend of Schubert but also his duet partner. After the composer’s death Gahy set about transcribing several of his partner’s vocal and instrumental works for piano duet. There is no question of the authenticity of the enterprise. Gahy remained faithful to the originals, even to the extent of parts of the phrases being split between the two players. So seamless is the performance of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow that this cannot be detected.

The disc opens with Gahy’s arrangement of the Piano Trio in B flat major. The music is sublime. Exquisite melodies pour out from a composer in full creative flow reminiscent of his Lieder writing. Does it work without the violin and cello parts? On the whole, yes, although I’m not completely convinced about the Scherzo. Goldstone and Clemmow give a masterclass in the art of duet playing. They are completely sensitive to each other’s performance and play as one. After such a stunning opening the problem is that anything else that follows is likely to be an anti-climax – and it is. The Notturno, also written for violin, cello and piano, just doesn’t work as a duet; the Sonata in A major for arpeggione – an instrument long forgotten- and piano is not the composer’s best although there is evidence of his flair for melodic writing. The only work here originally written for piano duet is the so-called “Friendship” Rondo in D major, a nice-enough piece but not in the same league as the Trio. In spite of these reservations the disc is worth buying for that performance alone.

-- Shirley Ratcliffe, International Piano

The Piano Trio, D 898, Notturno D 897 and 'Arpeggione' Sonata D 821 are all original Schubert works and there is certainly nothing amiss to have them labelled unauthorized. So why is this and the previous issue of the 'Trout Quintet' been tagged as such? Josef von Gahy, who was not a professional musician, but a Hungarian civil servant happened to be one of Schubert's closest friends, and his admiration for the composer knew no bounds. They often played together four-hand works and Gahy's fine playing drew words of praise from Schubert many a time.

By the time of the latter's death, their relationship had become an inseparable one. As a humble homage to his great idol, Gahy decided to arrange some of Schubert's pieces for piano duet and this recording embraces three such arrangements plus the 'Friendship' Rondo, D 608, an original Schubert piece for two pianos, composed in honour of his great and dedicated friend.

The Goldstone and Clemmow duo, married since 1989, have etched a name for themselves in such repertoire, and these interpretations are as absorbing and entertaining as the arrangements themselves. While always highlighting the romantic streak of these works, they unfailingly bring to the fore both Schubert's and Gahy's flair for structure and melody.

-- Gerald Fenech, www.classical.net
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Works on This Recording

Sonata for Arpeggione in A minor, D 821 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Caroline Clemmow (Piano), Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1824; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Josef von Gahy. 
Trio for Piano and Strings no 1 in B flat major, D 898/Op. 99 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Anthony Goldstone (Piano), Caroline Clemmow (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1828; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Josef von Gahy. 
Notturno for Piano and Strings in E flat major, D 897/Op. 148 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Caroline Clemmow (Piano), Anthony Goldstone (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: ?1828; Vienna, Austria 
Notes: Arranger: Josef von Gahy. 
Rondo for Piano 4 hands in D major, D 608/Op. 138 by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Anthony Goldstone (Piano), Caroline Clemmow (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1818; Vienna, Austria 

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