Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Dvorak * Grieg: 'Music for Piano Four Hands'

Magazine article Gramophone

Brahms * Dvorak * Grieg: 'Music for Piano Four Hands'

Article excerpt

Brahms * Dvorak * Grieg

'Music for Piano Four Hands'

Brahms Hungarian Dances, Wo01 Nos 11-21

Dvorak Slavonic Dances, Op 46 B78

Grieg Norwegian Dances, Op 35

Claire Chevallier, Jos Van Immerseel pf

Alpha (F) ALPHA282 (71' * DDD)

These are two distinguished artists so I hesitate to say it, but this recording made me extremely grumpy. For a number of reasons. First, the piano used for this programme of 22 duets is a straight-strung 1870 Bechstein grand chosen, so Immerseel tells us in the booklet, because such instruments 'usually sound much more transparent and noticeably clearer in the bass than their (modern) over-strung equivalents'. Certainly, it is nearly always interesting from a historical perspective to hear music performed on a contemporary instrument, but I simply don't like the sound of this particular Bechstein with its penetrating, insistent treble and mumbling, indistinct bass, both of which seem unevenly voiced right through the register.

Secondly, the duo play Nos 11 to 21 (books 3 and 4 from 1880, not so identified on the cover) of Brahms's Hungarian Dances. …

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