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Mendelssohn, Bruch: Concertos For Two Pianos / The Labèques


Release Date: 12/27/2007 
Label:  Philips   Catalog #: 432095   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Felix MendelssohnMax Bruch
Performer:  Marielle LabèqueKatia Labèque
Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 1 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Labeques dispatch these little-known works with customary flair.

Both these works were written for sibling pianists, and both disappeared from sight after their first few performances. Mendelssohn's E major Concerto dates from 1823, when he was only 14: he and his sister Fanny premiered it the following year in Berlin on her birthday, but it had to wait until 1960 for publication. The concerto's style is clearly indebted to Mozart, but it has a considerable charm of its own, not least in the extended slow movement.

Bruch's concerto was one of his last works, commissioned by the Sutro sisters, and first performed under Stokowski in 1916. It's actually a reworking of his Third Orchestral Suite, based on
Read more Good Friday celebrations he had observed on a trip to Capri in 1904. The four movements are linked by the idea of a solemn procession which breaks into rejoicing, and provide a delightful mix of neo-Baroque severity, folk melodies and Bruch's characteristically adept orchestration. The Sutro sisters clearly found the piece a bit tricky, and spent much of the rest of their lives rewriting the concerto: Bruch's original reappeared only after Ottilie's death in 1970. No such problems for the Labeques, who dispatch both pieces with their customary flair. Bychkov's conducting, the playing of the Philharmonia and the atmospheric recording are all beyond reproach.

-- Stephen Maddock, BBC Music Magazine
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Works on This Recording

1. Concerto for 2 Pianos in E major by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer:  Marielle Labèque (Piano), Katia Labèque (Piano)
Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1823; Germany 
2. Concerto for 2 Pianos, Op. 88a by Max Bruch
Performer:  Katia Labèque (Piano), Marielle Labèque (Piano)
Conductor:  Semyon Bychkov
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1915; Germany 

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