The Carnegie Hall Concert - Schubert Piano Music for Four Hands

The Carnegie Hall Concert - Schubert Piano Music for Four Hands

by Evgeny Kissin, James Levine
     
 

This unexpected but truly inspired collaboration finds piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin teaming up with James Levine (stepping down from his usual place at the conductor's podium) to perform Schubert's greatest works for piano duet. Kissin isn't the type of pianist you'd usually picture playing duets with anyone…  See more details below

Overview

This unexpected but truly inspired collaboration finds piano virtuoso Evgeny Kissin teaming up with James Levine (stepping down from his usual place at the conductor's podium) to perform Schubert's greatest works for piano duet. Kissin isn't the type of pianist you'd usually picture playing duets with anyone: Considering his typical style, so impulsive and brash, it's hard to imagine him as a partner among equals. But that turns out to be an unfounded stereotype, for he and Levine offer a set of performances as finely matched and cooperative as could be desired. In Schubert's time, the piano duet was primarily a format for domestic music making, not the concert hall, but these works challenge that boundary in their symphonic scope and their sheer difficulty, requiring performers of Kissin's and Levine's skill and sensitivity. The Fantasy in F Minor ranks among Schubert's most beautifully tragic compositions in any genre; both this Fantasy and the Allegro in A Minor date from 1828, the final year of Schubert's life, and the performers here reach the full depth of the music's stormy yet lyrical profundity. Compared to these rather compact late works, the Sonata in C (better known as the "Grand Duo") positively sprawls -- making one think of the "heavenly length" attributed to his "Great" C Major Symphony -- but Levine brings a skilled conductor's control to guiding and shaping the work's architecture. Coming to an end with two spirited encores, including the famous Marche Militaire No. 1, Levine and Kissin's concert -- recorded live before a sold-out Carnegie Hall audience in May 2005 -- is a tribute to the surprisingly versatile talents of these two musicians and, most of all, to the infinite variety of Schubert's music.

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Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Jeremy Nicholas
On paper it seems like an unlikely pairing. On disc, however, it is something of a triumph, a recording that is far more than a souvenir d'occasion.
Los Angeles Times - Chris Pasles
1/2 Kissin and Levine are kindred spirits in pursuing the composer's charming highways and byways as well as his poignant, compelling, even noble detours.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/07/2006
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828766928228
catalogNumber:
69282

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