Magazine article Gramophone

Bizjak Piano Duo: Martinu Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

Magazine article Gramophone

Bizjak Piano Duo: Martinu Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

Article excerpt

Bizjak Piano Duo

Martinu Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra, H292 Poulenc Concerto for Two

Pianos and Orchestra Shostakovich Concertino

Stravinsky Sonata for Two Pianos

Lidija Bizjak, Sanja Bizjak pfs Stuttgart

Philharmonic Orchestra / Radoslaw Szulc

Onyx [M] ONYX4148 (64' * DDD)

The Serbian-born sisters Lidija and Sanja Bizjak have devised a clever programme, pairing two concertos for two pianos and orchestra with two works for two pianos alone. Each concerto harks back to earlier musical forms and each is most characteristic of its composer.

The Concerto by Martinu is the least-recorded of these four, perhaps on account of the difficulties facing the pianists and the orchestra in achieving impeccable co-ordination. I wondered if the Gustav-Siegle Hall in Stuttgart might prove a shade too reverberant for its concertante character but such qualms were allayed by a fine recording. Martinu's music sparkles under the Bizjaks' fingers. They relish the jazzy inflections and playful counterpoint of the outer movements while gently inflecting the intimate chordal progressions around the orchestral tapestry in the darker slow movement. Martinu quotes, or so it seems, the 1920s hit 'I want to be happy' in the finale, a feeling we share in this persuasive performance.

In the Poulenc Double Concerto, the soloists and the Stuttgart Philharmonic under Radoslaw Szulc bring all the fun of the fair to the exuberant opening movement. …

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