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Stravinsky: Le Sacre Du Printemps, Etc / Duo Villarceaux

Release Date: 07/24/2001 
Label:  Thorofon   Catalog #: 2437   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Alexandra SostmannJudith Mosch
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villarceaux Duo
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Le Sacre du Printemps works best in its piano duet incarnation when the performers approach tempos, sonorities, and balances in the manner of a conductor guiding an orchestra through the textural mazes. The Duo Villarceaux's fourhanded Sacre succeeds brilliantly. Following a lyrical and fluid Introduction, the Auguries of Spring dance with savage accents and biting counterlines. Spring Rounds resonates from the bottom up, and the Dance of the Earth couldn't be clearer, although it doesn't match Naxos' Benjamin Frith and Peter Hill's sweeping abandon. In Part 2, the Introduction's tremolos take on a murmuring, disembodied quality, where the use of two pianos allows for simultaneous pedaled and
Read more non-pedaled sonorities that are all but impossible on a single instrument. The duo's incisive chording, well-judged transitions, and feeling for the music's speech-like patterns inform the remaining sections.

If the Frith/Hill duo takes a lighter, more impetuous spin through the Concerto for Two Pianos' rollicking first movement, the Villarceaux pair scores in the Fugue. Here they clarify the polyrhythmic effect of the ostinato sextuplets against the fugue subject's 16th notes. Similarly, the Notturno is taken at a slower clip than the composer's rarely observed metronome marking (he and his son Soulima do so in their 1938 recording) which helps the asymmetrical flourishes sound whimsical rather than flippant. My only beef is that there was room for the Duo Villarceaux to include Stravinsky's other two-piano works: the Sonata and the Scherzo à la Russe. But given such excellent performances and great sonics, why complain? Solidly recommended.
--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Alexandra Sostmann (Piano), Judith Mosch (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villarceaux Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Date of Recording: 08/2000 
Venue:  Landesfunkhaus, Netherlands 
Length: 34 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Composition written: Switzerland (1911 - 1913).
Composition revised: USA (1943). 
Concerto for 2 Pianos by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Alexandra Sostmann (Piano), Judith Mosch (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Villarceaux Duo
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931-1935; France 
Date of Recording: 08/2000 
Venue:  Landesfunkhaus, Netherlands 
Length: 20 Minutes 55 Secs. 

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