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Creston's Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra is the most recent work (1951). Though not quite in the class of the Poulenc, it's a fine composition. This is a first recording and that lends strong support to the idea that tonal works, especially by American composers, fell out of favor around the middle of the last century. Wonder what else we've missed out on? The piece is in three movements. The first comes closest to what I'll call the New-York-City-skyscraper sound, taking itself a bit too seriously. The slow second movement has some lovely melodies [listen -- track 6, 0:00-1:28]. The last movement is a suitably rousing finale [listen -- track 7, 4:48-6:09].

The pianists have all the technique these sometimes difficult pieces require and complement each other beautifully. Solid orchestral support completes the package. This is a most enjoyable disk.

Copyright © 20 September 2003 Ron Bierman, San Diego, USA


Music for Two Pianos and Orchestra

KL 5121 Stereo 53'42" 2002 Helicon Records

Joshua Pierce, piano; Dorothy Jonas, piano; National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio and Television; David Amos, conductor

Francis Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for two pianos and orchestra (1932); Nikolai Tikonovich Berezowsky: Fantasie for Two Pianos and Orchestra Op 9 (1931); Paul Creston: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra Op 50 (1951)



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