Magazine article Gramophone

Adams * JS Bach * Messiaen: 'Visions'

Magazine article Gramophone

Adams * JS Bach * Messiaen: 'Visions'

Article excerpt

Adams * JS Bach * Messiaen [G]

'Visions'

Adams Hallelujah Junction JS Bach Cantata No 106--Sonatina Messiaen Visions de l'Amen

Christina and Michelle Naughton pfs

Warner Classics (F) 2564 60113-6 (62' * DDD)

Four years after their impressive debut release on Orfeo, the twin-sister piano duo Christina and Michelle Naughton begin a relationship with Warner Classics on an audacious note, or, more accurately, in a veritable avalanche of notes via Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen. After all, this is a challenging work packed with textural thickets and deceptively tricky rhythms, yet few duos can resist its potential for sonorous splendour and wide ranging tone-colour.

Just about everything comes together in this recording. The Naughton twins don't take the opening movement's tres lent directive at face value (the composer and his wife Yvonne Loriod were similarly speedy!), but they pull you in with their assiduously gradual, painstakingly incremental dynamic build-up. No 2's declamatory octaves and pedal-enveloped chords line up in ideal foreground/ background perspective, although the second piano's long opening solo doesn't distinguish the articulations to the degree heard in the Osborne-Roscoe, Oppens-Lowenthal and Serkin-Takahashi recordings. …

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