Distinguished composer-pianists Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown combined their considerable talents in 2011, thus forming a piano duo brimming with ideas not only centred on the classics for piano duo repertoire, but also with a strong commitment to searching out neglected masterpieces performed to great acclaim in their various concert tours. They have revived, among others, Debussy's exotic ballet masterpiece 'Khamma'. Set in ancient Egypt, it appears here as a first recording in the version for four hands.
British Composer Anthony Herschel Hill who died last year also features here for the first time with Nocturne, a beautiful if intense elegy for two pianos. Other, no less-important offerings on this disc are Busoni’s Fantasia Contrappuntistica, a work of dazzling technical insight composed in 1910 for solo piano and re-arranged in 1921 for two pianos. The rebellious, ingenious, subversive Satie provides some light relief with his Trois morceaux en forme de Poire and the Jacobson-Brown Piano Duo contribute yet another unusual collection for piano duet, the Italian Casella’s spiky, wayward Pupazzetti (‘Puppets’) – perhaps a tribute to Stravinsky whose Italian premiere of Petrushka Casella conducted. Finally our two pianists end their hugely entertaining disc with Poulenc, another restless, mischievous spirit whose Sonate for four hands is an enthralling mixture of jazz, Stravinsky, Satie and even Bartok!
*A bonus here is the original, extended version of Pupazzetti’s opening ‘March’ that boasts a level of difficulty greater than, perhaps, Casella felt the work in its final form could comfortably accommodate. Its relative complexity serves to ink in the music’s strident immediacy with telling definition.
On This Recording
- Busoni – Fantasia Contrappuntistica
- Satie 3 Morceaux en forme de Poire – Maniere De Commencement
- Prolongation Du Même
- En Plus – Calme
- Redite – Dans Le Lent
- Debussy – Khamma
- Casella – Pupazzetti Marcetta
- Herschell Hill – Nocturne for two pianos
- Poulenc – Sonate Prelude
- *Bonus Track