Stravinsky / Satie: Paris Joyeux & Triste - Piano Duets Slava Poprugin Primary Artist
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For this Alpha-Classics album of modernist music arranged for two pianos, Alexei Lubimov and Slava Poprugin play four essential works that yield some surprises in their keyboard versions. Three of the pieces are transcriptions of instrumental music, specifically Igor Stravinsky's arrangement of his Concerto in E flat major, Dumbarton Oaks, {|John Cage|}'s reduction of Erik Satie's Socrate, and {|Darius Milhaud|}'s four-hand transcription of Satie's Cinéma (composed as a soundtrack for the short Dadaist film Entr'acte, used in the ballet Relâche), with Stravinsky's Concerto for two pianos solo performed as it was originally written. Lubimov and Poprugin play three pianos, a 1906 Gaveau, a 1909 Bechstein, and a 1920 Pleyel, so the vintage sonorities of the early modern era are used effectively to create the appropriate ambience and authentic period feeling. The pianists' lively playing and crisp attacks accentuate the unique character of these instruments, and overall the performances offer distinctive timbres a world away from the familiar sound of modern pianos. This is a fascinating exploration of modernism in a medium that was quite familiar to all of the composers of the time, though startling details will emerge, especially for listeners who can hear these pieces with fresh ears.


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