Gramophone Magazine has singled out Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin’s new recording of Stravinsky on the Hyperion label as CD of the Month.

“In August 2015 I assessed a clutch of new recordings of the four-hands version of The Rite of Spring and noted that Guy and Bavouzet were far superior to all their rivals … But now comes a version that flies as high as the two Frenchmen, and in some respects arguably even higher … Hamelin and Andsnes are irresistibly clear and energetic, so that the sheer physical excitement is on an altogether higher level …

“For couplings … Hamelin and Andsnes have the Concerto for two pianos, which is Stravinskian neoclassicism at its highest metabolic rate of musical inventiveness: by turns gleefully sardonic and inscrutable, and horribly difficult to bring off. Here my critical pen rests and I reach for my hat. For sheer articulacy, synchronised gymnastics, flawless balance, range of colour and flinty attack, or any other criterion you care to reach for, this is breathtaking pianism …

“Throw in three miniatures – Madrid in Soulima’s own transcription, the Tango and Circus Polka in versions by Victor Babin – plus an authoritative programme note by Stephen Walsh and you have an immensely collectable album: a strong candidate for Disc of the Year, never mind of the Month.”

 

Source: Gramophone

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