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La Valse A Mille Temps

Brahms / Ravel / Rihm / Spinette / Michiels
Release Date: 02/08/2011 
Label:  Fuga Libera   Catalog #: 577   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Franz SchubertJohannes BrahmsRichard StraussMaurice Ravel,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



LA VALSE À MILLE TEMPS Inge Spinette, Jan Michiels (pn) FUGA LIBERA 577 (72:49)


SCHUBERT German Dances. RIHM Mehere kurze Waltzer. BRAHMS Waltzes, op. 39. R. STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier: Waltzes. RAVEL Read more La Valse


For some reason, our beloved editor has anointed me as one of his four-hand piano music mavens, so I get to hear a lot of music in that category. And yet here is a recording that stands out from the pack. The whole production is thoughtful and elegant, and even though the majority of the material is already well represented elsewhere, the unusual manner in which it is presented puts the music in a new light. The unique structural device of this recital is to play the whole body of music as a kind of giant suite, with the remarkably characterful waltzes of Wolfgang Rihm, written throughout the 1980s, interspersed among the more familiar fare. Rihm borrows gestures and moods from all of the other masters of the waltz he shares the program with, so that his pieces make for fluid bridges between the works. This sense of continuity is abetted by the fact that Brahms was the editor of the Schubert waltzes, which lends a natural influence on his own delightful music.


Inge Spinette and Jan Michiels are Eurocentric performers (both are Belgian). There is something appealingly Old World about their playing. It is never flashy; there is never a sense that they are playing too loud or too fast. Spot-on precision is not critical to their style, but the occasional lapse in perfectly vertical coordination in no way detracts from the charm of this playing. The rhythmic flow of the music seems to emanate from their very spirit, with a lilt and an application of luftpausen that seems as natural as breathing.


Even the choice of instrument is significant. Spinette and Michiels play an 1892 Érard, a piano with construction that places it well into the modern era, but with a noticeably softer action and tonality. The effect is subtle, but careful listening will reveal woodier, less steely coloration than you would get on a contemporary Steinway, say. There is less brilliance but more timbral delicacy.


Ridiculously charming music-making, decent natural sounding recording, smart and insightful notes by Jan Michiels, attractive packaging; what more can you ask for? This is a first-class production all the way.


FANFARE: Peter Burwasser
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Works on This Recording

1.
Ländler (17) for Piano, D 366 by Franz Schubert
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816-1824; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Brussels, Royal Conservatory, Concert Ha 
Length: 9 Minutes 28 Secs. 
2.
Waltzes (16) for Piano 4 hands, Op. 39 by Johannes Brahms
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1865; Austria 
Venue:  Brussels, Royal Conservatory, Concert Ha 
Length: 15 Minutes 13 Secs. 
3.
Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59: Waltz sequence no 2, Act 3 by Richard Strauss
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1934; Germany 
4.
La valse by Maurice Ravel
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1920; France 
Venue:  Brussels, Royal Conservatory, Concert Ha 
Length: 12 Minutes 1 Secs. 
5.
Mehrere kurze Walzer, for piano, 4 hands by Wolfgang Rihm
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duo Spinette-Michiels
Period: Contemporary 
Written: 1979-1988 
Venue:  Brussels, Royal Conservatory, Concert Ha 
Length: 15 Minutes 42 Secs. 

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