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Works for Two Pianos by Debussy & Ravel

Album Summary

>Debussy, Claude : En blanc et noir
>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
>Debussy, Claude : Lindaraja
>Ravel, Maurice : Sites auriculaires
>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Vladimir Ashkenazy, one of Decca's best selling artists, returns to the piano and is joined by his son on this disc of beautiful French "Impressionism" piano duets by Debussy and Ravel. Much of the music on this disc is rarely recorded because of its technical difficulty, including the world-premiere of a new arrangement of Debussy's 'Jeux'. Ashkenazy has a special affinity with French music and won a Grammy Award for his recording of Ravel's 'Gaspard de la Nuit'. He brings an innate understanding of and affection for the French repertoire to this new album. Vovka Ashkenazy is himself a renowned pianist and teacher who has made critically-acclaimed recordings for several labels.

"Father and son at two pianos - besides Ashkenazy, the names Schnabel and Serkin also come immediately to mind. While Ashkenazy pere needs no introduction...his namesake may. Vovka (a diminutive of Vladimir) is the oldest of the Ashkenazy children. Born in 1962, he has developed into a very fine pianist...This is an exceptional release - great music by the pre-eminent French composers of the 20th century. All but Debussy's Jeux were written or arranged for two pianos by the composers [Jeux arranged by Jean-Efflam Bavouzet]...Great music demands great performances, and no finer ones of this music can be found...The elder Ashkenazy is no longer giving concerts as a solo pianist, so we can only be thankful for his involvement in great recordings like this one." - American Record Guide

BBC Music Magazine
Ashkenazy père et fils... clearly having much fun, especially in Rapsodie espagnol, drawing a wide range of colour, and some wonderfully delicate shading.

The Telegraph
Father and son join forces here with winning élan. Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of the great pianists of modern times, with a legacy of landmark solo and concerto recordings to challenge anybody's. His son Vovka has inherited the genes and, on disc, has collaborated in performances of chamber music by Tchaikovsky, Arensky, Poulenc and Ravel.

The Times
Early 20th-century repertoire has often brought out the best in Vladimir as pianist and conductor, and he certainly plays with love here. Harnessed to their Steinways, father and son display exceptionally close rapport, thinking and breathing as one in music that requires almost inhuman co-ordination to do its magic full justice. No note is out of place, no texture muddy. They're at their very best in Ravel's La Valse transcription and the Feria finale of Rapsodie espagnole, where they spray the listener with kaleidoscopic textures and modulate dynamics with the punch of master dramatists.



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Works Details

>Debussy, Claude : En blanc et noir
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1915

>Debussy, Claude : Jeux
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 16 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1912-1913

>Debussy, Claude : Lindaraja
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1901

>Ravel, Maurice : Sites auriculaires :: Entre cloches
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1895-1897

>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1907

>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
  • Performers: Vladimir Ashkenazy (Piano); Vovka Ashkenazy (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (05/01/2008-05/04/2008)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919-1920