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American Works for Piano Duo / Georgia & Louise Mangos

Release Date: 06/24/2003 
Label:  Cedille Records   Catalog #: 69   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Vincent PersichettiSamuel BarberDavid DiamondJoseph Fennimore
Performer:  Georgia MangosLouise Mangos
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 15 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

There's some major music here, smashingly played. Most exciting for fans of the duo piano medium will be the two pieces by Vincent Persichetti, a master keyboard composer if ever there were one. His brief and charming Sonata for Two Pianos opens the program, but the main work on the disc is his Concerto for Piano Four-Hands, an epic piece constructed somewhat along the lines of the Liszt Sonata. The Mangos sisters capture every facet of this impressive essay in single-movement architecture, from the brooding opening to the hair-trigger antics of the presto sections. Persichetti recorded the work himself (with his wife, for whom he wrote it), and that performance, never available on CD, bespeaks an obvious authority--but sonically there's no Read more comparison to this newcomer, and technically speaking, the Mangos sisters play every bit as well.

Samuel Barber's Souvenirs is no stranger to disc, but once again this performance stands with the best, delightfully characterful and having just the right light touch. The same observations apply to Joseph Fennimore's Crystal Stairs, a sometimes disturbing distillation of pop and Broadway music idioms inspired by a Langston Hughes poem. David Diamond's Concerto for Two Solo Pianos, a comparatively early work (1942) also makes a major statement, and these players have the unflagging stamina that the dense and percussive outer movements demand.

As with any recording of two-piano (or piano four-hand) music, there's a lot of resonance and pounding of keys here, and Cedille's engineers offer sonics of impressive clarity if perhaps at some sacrifice in tonal depth. Frankly, it's a tradeoff on the right side, because nothing is more terrible in this music than murk and confusion, and the frequently neo-classical idiom of these works benefits from the acoustic crispness. A fine job.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Sonata for 2 Pianos, Op. 13 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Georgia Mangos (Piano), Louise Mangos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Souvenirs, Op. 28 by Samuel Barber
Performer:  Louise Mangos (Piano), Georgia Mangos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Concerto for Piano 4 hands, Op. 56 by Vincent Persichetti
Performer:  Georgia Mangos (Piano), Louise Mangos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952; USA 
Concerto for 2 Pianos by David Diamond
Performer:  Georgia Mangos (Piano), Louise Mangos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942-1943; USA 
Crystal Stairs by Joseph Fennimore
Performer:  Georgia Mangos (Piano), Louise Mangos (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1983; USA 

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