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Martinu: Concerto For Two Pianos And Orchestra, Etc / Valek


Release Date: 07/16/2013 
Label:  Elan Recordings   Catalog #: 82422   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole NarboniMark Clinton
Conductor:  Vladimír Válek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Talich Chamber Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews


Martinu's brilliant and witty double piano concerto belongs to a long list of his works unaccountably neglected in today's concert halls. Composed in 1943 during the composer's American period, the piece shares many of the same characteristics of the six great symphonies written at the same time: busy, syncopated rhythms; luminous orchestration; and soaring lyrical passages of great melodic breadth. In a not very crowded field, this concerto certainly stands proudly beside those of Mozart, Poulen, Piston, Gould, and Vaughan Williams among the sovereign works for two pianos and orchestra. The Concerto Grosso for Two Pianos and Chamber Orchestra, by contrast, comes from the end of Martinu's Paris
Read more period (1937), and offers spikier harmonies and a more soloistic give and take between the soloists and individual members of the accompanying ensemble.

The remaining items, for duo pianists without orchestra, are all charming miniatures, though the Three Czech Dances together offer considerable musical substance beneath the folksy exterior. All of these works are superbly played by the Clinton-Narboni Duo. They have the technique to offer maximum brilliance in the outer movements of the Concerto and Concerto Grosso, and the delicacy of touch to make something really special out of the former's haunting slow movement (the last two minutes or so are just magical). Vladimir Válek and the Talich Chamber Orchestra bring a touch of authentic Czech vitality to their sensitive and lively accompaniments, and the recorded sound provides ample body and excellent balances both. A major release.
--David Hurwitz , ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole Narboni (Piano), Mark Clinton (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimír Válek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Talich Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
2. Concerto Grosso for Chamber Orchestra, H 263 by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole Narboni (Piano), Mark Clinton (Piano)
Conductor:  Vladimír Válek
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Talich Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; Czech Republic 
3. Czech Dances (3) for 2 Pianos by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole Narboni (Piano), Mark Clinton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; Czech Republic 
4. Fantasie for 2 Pianos by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole Narboni (Piano), Mark Clinton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929; France 
5. Impromptus (2) for Harpsichord by Bohuslav Martinu
Performer:  Nicole Narboni (Piano), Mark Clinton (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; Switzerland 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Martinu Double Piano Music March 26, 2014 By Graeme S. (Altoona, PA) See All My Reviews "This disk contains two double concerti in Martinu's favoured "concerto grosso" form, plus some piano duo music. The "Concerto for 2 Pianos" is from the period of Martinu's second symphony and has much the same sound, with hints of the sixth. I liked it. The "Concerto Grosso" is somewhat more dissonant, but perfectly welcome to this reviewer, who first encountered Martinu's music in the late 1950's and has loved it ever since. The piano duos are substantial pieces, tho being without orchestra, they do not appeal to me personally. Performances and sound are both excellent; the disk as a whole is probably not for newcomers to Martinu's music, but should be desirable to those who already know and like it." Report Abuse
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