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Saint-saëns: Le Carnaval; Poulenc / Güher & Süher Pekinel

Release Date: 01/07/2008 
Label:  Teldec   Catalog #: 46155   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Camille Saint-SaënsFrancis Poulenc
Performer:  Güher PekinelSüher Pekinel
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 38 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Pianistic fireworks with irresitible charm and gaiety.

Guher and Suher Pekinel, highly talented twins of mixed Turkish-Spanish parentage, playing together on a single piano, set off vivaciously into the Introduction of Saint-Saens’s Carnaval des animaux, tripping along with irresistible charm and gaiety. Throughout there is such an engaging lightness of touch underneath the surface sparkle that they readily dominate the performance. Yet the balance is well managed, and the partnership with Janowski and the French orchestra works quite admirably, so that time and again the ear is delighted, whether by the squawking hens and cockerels, the gentle, unhurried Offenbachian tortoises, the elephantine sylph, obviously parading
Read more on points (the double-bass solo so neatly focused by Gerard Soufflard), the galumphing kangaroos, the fragile, watery aquarium and the dainty fluttering within the aviary. The “Pianists”, for once, are deftly purposeful and sure of themselves; then the fossils forget any macabre associations and dance past with perky insouciance. Perhaps the finest orchestral solo of all is “The Swan” (Eric Levionnais), who swims by with natural grace and simple dignity (and without coming too close). A lovely performance. The finale is as spirited as the opening and I doubt whether there is a finer account of the Saint-Saens on disc, nor one more beautifully recorded, with every detail crystal clear within a most pleasing ambience.

Not surprisingly this personable and perceptive duo then turn to the scintillating wit of Poulenc’s Concerto for two pianos. They perform this work equally persuasively, and with plenty of dash and dazzle. Yet the secondary theme of the first movement is given a special haunting nostalgia, half-way between Satie and Ravel, and the delicious Mozartian pastiche of the Larghetto is equally relished. How nicely they make the melody sing, while the orchestral backing has the appropriate veiled sensuality and the docile coda is exquisite. Then the finale erupts with bouncing pianistic articulation and rather more strident comments from the orchestra, but again there is an exotic lyrical secondary tune that blossoms nicely before the brief closing burst of pianistic fireworks.

-- Ivan March, Gramophone [2/1996]
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Works on This Recording

Carnival of the animals by Camille Saint-Saëns
Performer:  Güher Pekinel (Piano), Süher Pekinel (Piano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Written: 1886 
Date of Recording: 09/1990 
Venue:  Radio France Studio 104, Paris 
Length: 19 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Concerto for 2 Pianos in D minor by Francis Poulenc
Performer:  Güher Pekinel (Piano), Süher Pekinel (Piano)
Conductor:  Marek Janowski
Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; France 
Date of Recording: 09/1990 
Venue:  Radio France Studio 104, Paris 
Length: 17 Minutes 31 Secs. 

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