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Bernstein West Side Story symphonic dances; Gershwin Cuban Overture & Rhapsody in Blue; Grainger Fantasy on Porgy & Bess   Jocelyn Abbott & Laura O'Gorman (piano duet) Cubitt Music ( A Quatre Mains) AOGCD 1. 64' 56"

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This is one of the finest piano duet (at one piano) CDs I have heard. The pianists' names were new to me, although I learn that they have recorded Ravel for Meridian (CDE84300). Piano duet is a fascinating, under-rated medium, which used to give domestic satisfaction in the days when every house had a piano, and earlier generations learned orchestral music through piano transcriptions, often for four hands. (Mozart and Schubert both produced substantial bodies of music for piano duet.)

These duettists have a flair for bringing out the best from all these well known scores, which emerge amazingly fresh without their orchestral clothes. It is easier at one piano than two to adjust balance and tone and avoid getting too loud, and this duo is as sensitive as you could wish to all the nuances and colours a good Steinway can offer.

Great clarity, immaculate pedalling, impeccable recording and stylish presentation, with full notes and several session photos of the Abbott O'Gorman Duo - this one is going to go in many 'best of the month' lists, I am confident. They produced it themselves, from studio to engineering to cover design, production, marketing and distribution; an admirable example of enterprise and determination. Under the "a quatre mains" brand, they plan are to issue other interesting titles, which I await with interest.


Peter Grahame Woolf



Peter Grahame Woolf

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