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Leon Fleischer & Katherine Jacobson: Four Hands - Piano Duets of Brahms, Schubert, Ravel and Bolcom

Album Summary

>Brahms, Johannes : Liebeslieder Waltzes (18) for piano, 4 hands, Op. 52a
>Schubert, Franz : Fantasy for Piano 4 hands in F minor, D 940/Op. 103
>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
>Bolcom, William : Ghost Rags (3)
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

New album from legendary pianist Leon Fleisher. Featuring duets with his wife, pianist Katherine Jacobson. Includes works by Brahms, Schubert, Ravel and Bolcom.

Sony Classical is pleased to present a brand-new album of piano duets, Four Hands, featuring celebrated American pianist, Leon Fleisher together with his wife, pianist Katherine Jacobson. Four Hands includes the famous Liebeslieder - Waltzes for Piano 4 Hands, Op. 52a" by Johannes Brahms, works described by Ernest Lubin as being "among the loveliest and most beguiling of all Brahms' compositions"; Franz Schubert's "Fantasia in F minor for Piano 4 Hands D940" from the composer who wrote a great deal of four-hand piano music, this being one of his most well-known pieces; Maurice Ravel's famous "La Valse," arranged here for four hands by Lucien Garban, editor and lifelong friend to Ravel, and "Graceful Ghost Rag" by Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer, William Bolcom, who specializes in mixing popular and classical forms.

Leon Fleisher was a child prodigy who became Artur Schnabel's youngest student at the age of ten, thus continuing a long line of piano tradition reaching back to Beethoven himself. Described by The Independent as "One of the outstanding musicians of our time," Fleisher is currently experiencing a welcome revival both in the recording studio and on the concert platform.

The Independent
One of the outstanding musicians of our time.

The Observer, 6th September 2015
Can there be a more perfect work for four hands than Schubert's Fantasia in F Minor? The beauty, logic and lyricism of its four interconnecting movements never fail to move and amaze, particularly when played by pianists of the stature of Leon Fleisher and his wife, Katherine Jacobson. Their reading is quite the equal of Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia's celebrated 1985 recording.

BBC Music Magazine, December 2015
The opening movements of Schubert's Fantasie in F minor may be ponderously slow and sombre, but the return of the first theme in major mode - and its run-up to the deep finality of the coda - is beautifully effected. La valse, arranged by Ravel's editor and friend Lucien Garban, emerges in splendidly atmospheric form, and Bolcom's Rag has loose-limbed grace.

Gramophone Magazine, November 2015
Fleischer and Jacobsen truly sing at the keyboard. What genial phrasing, supple balances and effortless ensemble unanimity they achieve, and without getting overly loud when textures become thick, as even the most experienced duet practitioners tend to do.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Wright Theater, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Mar (05/23/2014-05/25/2014).



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Works Details

>Brahms, Johannes : Liebeslieder Waltzes (18) for piano, 4 hands, Op. 52a
  • Performers: Katherine Fleisher (Piano); Leon Fleisher (Piano)
  • Notes: Wright Theater, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland (05/23/2014-05/25/2014)
  • Running Time: 20 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Form: Vocal
  • Written: 1874

>Schubert, Franz : Fantasy for Piano 4 hands in F minor, D 940/Op. 103
  • Performers: Katherine Fleisher (Piano); Leon Fleisher (Piano)
  • Notes: Wright Theater, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland (05/23/2014-05/25/2014)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1828

>Ravel, Maurice : La valse
  • Performers: Katherine Fleisher (Piano); Leon Fleisher (Piano)
  • Notes: This selection is a mono recording.
  • Running Time: 13 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1919-1920

>Bolcom, William : Ghost Rags (3)
  • Performers: Katherine Fleisher (Piano); Leon Fleisher (Piano)
  • Notes: Wright Theater, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland (05/23/2014-05/25/2014)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary