This is a vibrant and exotic selection of two-piano repertoire played with dedication and flair by the young Polish duo Art Pianos. This distinctive and eclectic disc takes the listener on a journey through the Americas, kicking off in NYC with a classic of two-piano repertoire: Percy Grainger’s virtuosic, jazz-tinged ramble on Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Read more
However, not all the choices are so predictable and many demonstrate the wide influence of chôro, a Brazilian popular tradition of instrumental music, with compositions influenced by the genre from the founding fathers of Brazilian concert music – Villa-Lobos and Radamés Gnattali – alongside vernacular examples by Paulinho da Viola and Carlos Jobim, huge stars of Brazilian popular culture. Taking in the evergreen Jamaican Rumba by Arthur Benjamin and the dynamic Danzon no.2 of Marquez (popularised by Dudamel in its original orchestral version), the journey winds down in Buenos Aires with two Piazzolla classics in charismatic and definitive arrangements by the bandoneonist’s own pianist. This is a disc for lovers of jazz and Latin inspired music, and will appeal in equal measure to the piano enthusiast as it will to the fan of Brazilian popular music.