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The Great Fugue / Simon, Varjon

Release Date: 07/21/2017 
Label:  Hungaroton   Catalog #: 32797  
Composer:  Robert SchumannFranz SchubertWolfgang Amadeus MozartLudwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Izabella SimonDénes Várjon
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The first joint album of the world famous pianist couple, Izabella Simon and Dénes Várjon is now available from Hungaroton. The central composition of the release is the Great Fugue by Beethoven. The album also features three rather scarcely performed but more “conservative” masterpieces written by Schumann, Schubert and Mozart, respectively. The artists did not opt for a chronological recording though; their performance offers a wholly unique dramaturgical perspective where every note points towards the Great Fugue but there is still some scope for the audience to make free associations. Chamber music has played a key role in the career of pianist couple Izabella Simon and Dénes Várjon from the very beginning. Read more “We do not want to differentiate between solo and chamber music. Making music is all that matters to us and chamber music is one form of it, a kind of in- depth communication. We feel grateful that we could be students at the academy under Kurtág and Rados as they taught us at the highest international standards. The greatest musicians seek inspiration from these two great musicians or listen to the performance of the heirs to their legacy. (...) So whether we like playing chamber music or not is not a question any longer. To us, it is daily bread” – say the pianists. Read less

Works on This Recording

Etudes (6) in Canon Form, for 2 pianos, Op. 56 (arr. Debussy) by Robert Schumann
Performer:  Izabella Simon (Piano), Dénes Várjon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845 
Allegro for Piano 4 hands in A minor, D 947/Op. 144 "Lebensstürme" by Franz Schubert
Performer:  Izabella Simon (Piano), Dénes Várjon (Piano)
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1828; Vienna, Austria 
Fugue for Piano in G minor, K 401 (375e) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Izabella Simon (Piano), Dénes Várjon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1782; Vienna, Austria 
Grosse Fuge for Piano 4 hands in B flat major, Op. 134 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer:  Izabella Simon (Piano), Dénes Várjon (Piano)
Period: Classical 
Written: 1826; Vienna, Austria 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 A fascinating programme, beautifully performed July 29, 2017 By Dean Frey See All My Reviews "Pianists Izabella Simon and Denes Varjon have built a really interesting program from a very solid base, a convincing and accomplished performance of Beethoven's own four hand transcription of the Great Fugue, originally the finale to his op. 130 String Quartet. Each of the pieces that precede the Beethoven is original and well worth listening to in its own right, and not just as a build-up to the main event. I had never heard Robert Schumann's Six Canonic Etudes, Op. 56, in Debussy's version for two pianos, but these are really delightful character pieces with plenty of charm and, well, character. Schubert packs a lot into the Allegro in A minor he wrote late in life: a poignant, sentimental soft centre surrounded by a crunchy, mock-serious coating. More delightful music, and played with especially apt energy, subtlety and style by these two fine pianists. The Mozart Fugue, K. 401, is one of the works that the composers wrote in response to his serious encounter with the contrapuntal music of J.S. Bach, and as it proceeds in its sombre way it's clear that Mozart has struck a deeply personal vein that he would go on to explore in his last decade, in his Great Mass and Requiem, and the most serious passages in his mature operas. This is a highly recommended release, both for its original repertoire and for the fine, assured playing." Report Abuse
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