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Stravinsky: Le Sacre De Printemps, Petrouchka / Likija & Sanja Bizjak

Stravinsky/ Bizjak
Release Date: 05/08/2012 
Label:  Mirare   Catalog #: 171  
Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Lidija BizjakSanja Bizjak
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Stravinsky primarily intended his piano duet versions of Petrouchka and Le Sacre du printemps for dance companies to use in rehearsal, rather than to be performed as concert pieces in and of themselves. That hasn’t stopped piano duos from frequently performing and recording them over the past four decades. Despite the lack of Stravinsky’s unique orchestrations, the music loses nothing in translation, so to speak, since the composer’s sharp note attacks and incisive rhythms often stem from the fact that he composed at the piano.

Although the arrangements pose a wealth of technical hurdles and awkward logistics in regard to not getting in the way of one’s partner, the sisters Lidija and Sanja Bizjak are accomplished enough to
Read more bypass these issues and zero on the music. Balances and tempo relationships hardly could be more seamless and fluid in Le Sacre. The woodwind flourishes in the first-part Introduction are both dead accurate and freely alive, while the big chords in Evocation des ancêstres convey majestic heft and acerbic bite at the same time. If the Bizjak sisters don’t quite match the incisive and driving energy that Paul Jacobs and Ursula Oppens generate in Petrouchka’s opening Fête populaire, or in the final section’s churning, accordion-like textures, their joyful and clean ensemble work nevertheless sets a high standard. However, the Russian Dance fails to take wing due to the duo’s rigid phrasing and lack of balletic élan. Fine performances of the two sets of four-hand Easy Pieces fill out this (mostly) attractive release.

-- Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

Le sacre du printemps by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Lidija Bizjak (Piano), Sanja Bizjak (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911-1913 
Pétrouchka by Igor Stravinsky
Performer:  Lidija Bizjak (Piano), Sanja Bizjak (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Switzerland 

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