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Pas de Deux: French Music for Piano Duo / Milhaud, Ravel, Bizet, Poulenc / Mona and Rica Bard, piano

Audio Samples

>Milhaud, Darius : Scaramouche, Op. 165b
>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
>Bizet, Georges : Jeux d'enfants, for piano 4 hands, Op. 22
>Poulenc, Francis : Sonata for 2 pianos, FP 156
>Poulenc, Francis : Elégie for 2 Pianos, FP 175

Album Summary

>Milhaud, Darius : Scaramouche, Op. 165b
>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
>Bizet, Georges : Jeux d'enfants, for piano 4 hands, Op. 22
>Poulenc, Francis : Sonata for 2 pianos, FP 156
>Poulenc, Francis : Elégie for 2 Pianos, FP 175
Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Having already garnered a number of accolades, sisters Mona and Rica Bard present a specially programmed pas de deux through eighty years of French piano music. At one and at two instruments they create a panorama of piano sound to animate the sometimes playful, often elegant, but always masterful music of Milhaud, Ravel, Bizet, and Poulenc.

American Record Guide, May/June 2013
The performances are as good as I have ever heard in this repertoire. It will only take you a few seconds of the opening Milhaud to know that this will be a very special recording. There is a joyous brilliance to their playing that jumps out of the speakers. From the ethereal opening of the Ravel in 'Prelude a la Nuit' to the glorious celebration of 'Feria', the rhythmic pulse conveys the essence of Spain. Bizet's wonderful set of piano duet pieces was written in 1871 and sets a precedent for several future French ones: Debussy's Petite Suite (1886-89), Fauré's Dolly (1893-96), Ravel's Ma Mere l'Oye (1908-10). It is also very similar to Satie's piano solo suite Sports et Divertissements. Poulenc's sonata is a large, ambitious work that calls for the mature musicianship the Bards offer. I predict a great future for this duo - they seem to have it all. I would compare them to the young Labeques and eagerly await their next release.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011).



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Works Details

>Milhaud, Darius : Scaramouche, Op. 165b
  • Ensemble: Piano Duo Mona & Rica Bard
  • Notes: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1937

>Ravel, Maurice : Rapsodie espagnole
  • Ensemble: Piano Duo Mona & Rica Bard
  • Notes: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 15 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1907

>Bizet, Georges : Jeux d'enfants, for piano 4 hands, Op. 22
  • Ensemble: Piano Duo Mona & Rica Bard
  • Notes: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1871

>Poulenc, Francis : Sonata for 2 pianos, FP 156
  • Ensemble: Piano Duo Mona & Rica Bard
  • Notes: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1952-1953

>Poulenc, Francis : Elégie for 2 Pianos, FP 175
  • Ensemble: Piano Duo Mona & Rica Bard
  • Notes: Siemens-Villa, Berlin Lankwitz (11/25/2011-11/28/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959