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Suite for two pianos No 4, Op 62
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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Details for CDA66755 track 20
Recording date
5 June 1994
Recording venue
Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, Hampstead, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Paul Spicer
Recording engineer
Keith Warren
Hyperion usage
  1. Arensky: Suites for Two Pianos (CDA66755)
    Disc 1 Track 20
    Release date: October 1994
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