- Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for piano, 4 hands
- Sonata for 2 pianos & 2 percussion, Sz. 110, BB 15
As the two-piano version of Igor Stravinsky's "Le Sacre du printemps" increases in popularity, finding a suitable companion piece for a program has become a necessity, especially for CD releases. Pianists Frank-Immo Zichner and Frank Gutschmidt have hit on the practical idea of recording "Le Sacre" with Béla Bartók's "Sonata for two pianos and percussion," a work that provides convenient instrumentation as well as serving as a suitable stylistic foil. While both of these modernist masterpieces share many similarities in their reliance on folk materials, angular melodies, dissonant harmonies, and rhythmic complexity, they are distinguishable because of their striking differences of approach and style. Because this version of "Le Sacre" is essentially a transcription of the original ballet, there are pianistic effects that mimic the orchestral score's features, such as string tremolos and bass drum rolls, whereas Bartók composed with the pianos in mind, and treated them as percussive instruments in league with the percussion battery, played here by Dominic Oelze and Torsten Schönfeld. This is a viable pairing that shows off the players' virtuosic skills and raises interesting considerations about Stravinsky's and Bartók's handling of surprisingly similar material in strikingly different ways. The playing throughout is vigorous and compelling, and NCA's transparent reproduction captures every note.
|Label:||New Classical Advt.|