HYPERION / 2018

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring & other works for two pianos four hands

With Marc-André Hamelin, piano

“The two-piano transcription is arguably as exhilarating as the full orchestration [of The Rite], and Andsnes and Hamelin offer a reading that is in turns thrilling, unsettling and beautiful… Andsnes and Hamelin are masters of modernism; they coax a prism of colours from the instruments, all of which are captured in detail via the superior sound recording.”
– BBC Music Magazine *****
About
Shortly before its notorious Paris ballet premiere in 1913, this was essentially how The Rite of Spring first saw the light of day: Leif Ove Andsnes and Marc-André Hamelin recapture the heady, visceral thrill which must have been in the air when Stravinsky sat down at the piano with Debussy to create this landmark of modernism.
Track Listing
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
1. Part 1 No 1. The Kiss of the Earth: Introduction
2. Part 1 No 2. Augurs of Spring (Dances of the Young Girls)
3. Part 1 No 3. Game of Abduction
4. Part 1 No 4. Spring Rounds
5. Part 1 No 5. Game of the Two Rival Tribes
6. Part 1 No 6. Procession of the Oldest and Wisest One
7. Part 1 No 7. The Kiss of the Earth
8. Part 1 No 8. Dancing Out of the Earth
9. Part 2 No 1. The Great Sacrifice: Introduction
10. Part 2 No 2. Mystic Circle of the Young Girls
11. Part 2 No 3. Glorification of the Chosen One
12. Part 2 No 4. Evocation of the Ancestors
13. Part 2 No 5. Ritual Action of the Ancestors
14. Part 2 No 6. Sacrificial Dance

Stravinsky: Concerto for 2 Pianos
15. I. Con moto
16. II. Notturno: Adagietto
17. III. Quattro variazioni
18. IV. Preludio e fuga

19. Madrid
20. Tango
21. Circus Polka

The two-piano transcription is arguably as exhilarating as the full orchestration [of The Rite], and Andsnes and Hamelin offer a reading that is in turns thrilling, unsettling and beautiful… Andsnes and Hamelin are masters of modernism; they coax a prism of colours from the instruments, all of which are captured in detail via the superior sound recording.

BBC Music Magazine

*****

Andsnes and Hamelin also play the Concerto for Two Pianos, a substantial Stravinsky score and one well worth getting to know. Here is every side of Stravinsky’s persona, not just the cool neo-classicism of the period when he wrote it, but flashes of the fantasy of The Firebird and the violence of The Rite of Spring. Together with three colourful, short Stravinsky arrangements the programme adds up to a brilliant album.
Financial Times

*****

Hamelin and Andsnes are irresistibly clear and energetic…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…An immensely collectable album: a strong candidate for Disc of the Year, never mind of the Month.
Gramophone

These superb virtuosos coalesce in triumph on triumph of phrasing and crisp articulation. Their two-piano reading of The Rite of Spring adds to the inescapable savage exhilaration of the ballet a note-by-note precision and an almost neoclassical sense of the objectivity of the construction…a disc of scintillating pleasures.
The Sunday Times

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