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Hyperion Records

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Photo of Artur Pizarro and Vita Panomariovaite by Sven Arnstein (b?)
Track(s) taken from CKD293
Recording details: October 2006
Teatro So Luz, Lisbon, Portugal
Produced by Philip Hobbs
Engineered by Julia Thomas
Release date: October 2005
Total duration: 46 minutes 28 seconds

'This is a wonderful release, coupling three of Rimsky-Korsakov's greatest orchestral scores in piano duo arrangements made by the composer himself and by his wife … Scheherazade emerges as a genuine piece of chamber music with a remarkable lack of ostentation in the piano-writing, with extended pedal notes and a concentration on long melodic lines and beauty of tone, and with the inevitable loss of orchestral colour amply made up for by a kaleidoscopic and Impressionist range of piano sonorities … with detailed and informative notes by Peter Avis, and a truthful and realistic recording quality, this is a very welcome release' (International Record Review) » More

'For a composer best-known for his skills as an orchestrator, this piano duo version of some of his most celebrated orchestral works presents Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in a very different light. Two of the arrangements are by the composer himself—Scheherazade and Capriccio espagnol—while Sadko is performed in a version by his wife, the pianist Nadezhda Nikolayevna. Hearing these played by piano duo Artur Pizarro and Vita Panomariovaite inevitably strips the music of much of its heat, but the upside is in witnessing Rimsky-Korsakov's lyrical invention and the mechanics of his music more readily. Pizarro and Panomariovaite deliver their performances with generous panache which is never exaggerated and rarely forced. The broad expressive range of Sadko is impressively covered' (The Scotsman)

'Of all the works on this disc Capriccio espagnol is probably the most successful, both as an arrangement and as a performance. There is a concentration here, an awareness of rhythmic subtlety, that is most impressive. Panomariovaite won a Joaquín Rodrigo prize in 2004, so this is an idiom she must know well. Structurally this arrangement seems much more convincing too, with a real ebb and flow missing until now, not to mention a vigour and sparkle that makes this feel less like an arrangement and more like a work in its own right' (MusicWeb International)

'Perhaps Pizarro's Iberian blood lets him under the skin of Rimsky's Hispanic homage—he and Panomariovaite (who has previously excelled in Spanish repertoire) play with far more drama and finesse; the texture of the 'Variazioni' [Capriccio espagnol] is smooth, whilst the tempos in 'Scena e canto gitano' are controlled—‘pulled up' and ‘let go' with flamenco-style panache' (bbc.co.uk) » More

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