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Britten At Aldeburgh - Mozart, Debussy, Schubert: Piano Duets

Release Date: 01/01/1980 
Label:  Decca   Catalog #: 466821   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus MozartFranz SchubertClaude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav RichterBenjamin Britten
Number of Discs: 1 
Length:  1 Hours 18 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Between 1965 and 1967 Benjamin Britten and Sviatoslav Richter teamed up at the Aldeburgh Festival for piano duo programs that were taped by the BBC for future broadcast. Music and Arts brought out this material on several CD issues, which stemmed from excellent tape sources. The selections on Decca's "official" release sound marginally fuller with less tape hiss. Do the performances live up to their legend? In most ways, yes. The dream team understates the theme of Schubert's ravishing Andantino Varié, yet opens up more as the four variations effortlessly segue from one to the next. The Mozart works boast vigor, sensitivity, and a refreshing sense of danger in the outer movements, while the Andantes are flexibly spun and sung. Richter's Read more prismatic legato is instantly identifiable in the first piano and primo parts. You also can identify Richter by his occasional unwillingness to adjust his accompanimental or decorative figures accordingly when Britten carries the thematic burden. Everything balances out in Debussy's En Blanc et Noir. The composer's slippery late idiom elicits sharply honed ensemble playing that murmurs with light-fingered wit and sparkle. Let's hope Decca will quickly unearth the remaining Schumann and Schubert selections from these priceless concerts.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for Piano 4 hands in C major, K 521 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1966 
Sonata for 2 Pianos in D major, K 448 (375a) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Benjamin Britten (Piano), Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1781; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1967 
Divertimento for Piano 4 hands, D 823 "sur motifs originaux français" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Benjamin Britten (Piano), Sviatoslav Richter (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: circa 1825; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 1965 
En blanc et noir by Claude Debussy
Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter (Piano), Benjamin Britten (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; France 
Date of Recording: 1967 

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