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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA66755
Recording details: June 1994
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Keith Warren
Release date: October 1994
Total duration: 12 minutes 57 seconds

'Deliciously played by this remarkable duo partnership who show virtuosity and delicacy in equal measure. Altogether delightful music and captivating playing' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Gabrilowitsch and Bauer have serious competition here. This is a splendid disc, chock full of charm and dash. Exceptionally fine—a must for all lovers of romantic ensemble pianism' (American Record Guide)

'Hyperion have again found the perfect acoustic for this most delightful and effective music. All in all, this is one of the classiest and most enjoyable two-piano discs I've ever had the pleasure of hearing' (Classic CD)

'Scintillating performances' (Fanfare, USA)

Suite for two pianos No 4, Op 62

Prélude  [2'22]
Romance  [2'25]
Le Rêve  [5'10]
Finale  [3'00]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Suite No 4, Op 62 was published in 1901, the year Arensky left the Imperial Chapel, and belongs to his final period as a composer. Despite his heavy drinking and failing health, there was no weakening of his powers as a composer. Indeed, this Suite is the most harmonically adventurous of the four, especially in the opening Prélude. The Romance is perhaps the only movement which looks back to the earlier Suites. As in the First Suite, he takes a simple melody and surrounds it with sparkling passagework. The third movement, Le Rêve (The Dream), has a strangely moving beauty, all the more surprising as it contains hardly any melody. Even when finally a tune does appear it seems not to know where it is going and quickly fades away. Arensky shows a special talent for final movements, and this Suite has one of the best. The piano-writing is reminiscent of Chopin, again a strangely nostalgic feature which seems to be recalling the influences of Arensky’s youth that led to his earliest major work, his ‘Chopinesque’ Piano Concerto, Op 2, which he wrote as a young man of twenty.

from notes by Stephen Coombs © 1994

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