MAGICAL PLACES - Goldstone and Clemmow

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MAGICAL PLACES - Evocative Symphonic Poems for Piano Duet - Goldstone and Clemmow Piano Duo - 809730510427 - Released: August 2012 - Divine Art DDA25104

1} Modest Mussorgsky - Night on Bald Mountain *
2} Hugo Alfvén - Midsummer Vigil (Swedish Rhapsody No. 1)
3} Jacques Ibert - Escales *
4} Anatoly Lyadov - The Enchanted Lake *
5} Benjamin Britten - Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes *
6} John Ireland - The Forgotten Rite

The British piano duo of Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow have done it again. They have managed to ply their trademark expressive savoir faire to pieces admired for their orchestral brilliance and color, and made them come out the other end unscathed. This CD's subtitle (Evocative Symphonic Poems for Piano Duet) is a clear indication that these works were written and envisioned by these composers to deploy all of their expressive powers and multi-faceted effects through the masterful use of orchestration. But yet these two pianists shape and mold the piano transcriptions so well as to deliver interpretations that are just as effective.

They often include, in their numerous recitals and recordings, works famous for their orchestral sparkle (The Planets by Gustav Holst is a great ezample) and make them their own. This new recording is no exception. It includes four world premières * of pieces that have acquired popularity mainly due to their orchestral charm, colors, filigree and muscle. And Goldstone and Clemmow have encapsulated all of this magic into four hands. From the spooky demonic rituals of Night on Bald Mountain to the stormy dangers of the Four Sea Interludes, not even a smidgen of the essence of these pieces is lost in the transcriptions, mostly due to the emotive edge these two musicians bring to the table.

Another fine Divine Art recording captured in a church acoustic, with liner notes full of instructive and interesting anecdotes that shed light on how musicians as different as Rimsky-Korsakov and Percy Faith were involved in the popularity and success of some of these wonderful works.

Jean-Yves Duperron - September 2012