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Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring - Version for Piano 4 hands and for Orchestra / Trenkner - Speidel Piano Duo; Beethoven Orch., Bonn, Blunier

Notes & Reviews:

The premiere of Stravinsky's Le sacre du printemps is legendary. It caused a full-blown scandal in Paris in 1913 even though the highly informed public should have known what was coming: during the previous year the composer had participated in the premiere of the piano duo version of this epochal work. Now theTrenkner-Speidel Piano Duo is also presenting the version for piano four hands. Compositional details offering valuable insights into one of the most important works of the music literature are brought to light by the fascinating comparative opportunities offered by the performance of the later orchestral version by the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn.

Evelinde Trenkner and Sontraud Speidel work their way through the enormously demanding particella as if by second nature. Their many years together have enabled the two pianists to develop astonishing precision in duo playing, which here endows the score's suggestive rhythm with enormous power. The reduction to piano sound renders audible horizontal melody particles with unprecedented clarity - the Sacre cannot be experienced with greater transparency.

Moreover, the live recording by the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn uncovers the whole broad spectrum of orchestral emotionality. For starters, the beginning with the famous bassoon solo in a torturously high register becomes a signature tune, and when Stefan Blunier leads the mighty sound masses of his orchestra to orgiastic high points, the disturbingly fascinating effect of the premiere vividly unfolds. Since everything is heard in three dimensional 2+2+2 sound, the evocation of an ecstatic pagan springtime dream is perfect.


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