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The Labèque sisters
play Stravinsky and Debussy -
reviewed by
PATRIC STANDFORD

'Altogether an impressive production with excellent performances.'

Stravinsky / Debussy - Katia et Marielle Labèque. © 2007 KML Recordings

Despite the title, this disc is far more Stravinsky than Debussy whose En blanc et noir, written shortly before his death, dedicates its third scherzando movement to Stravinsky with its allusion to the final scene of Firebird. That is the only Debussy, and a lovely performance it is too, especially agile in that third movement.

Listen -- Debussy: Scherzando (En blanc et noir) (CD track 11, 0:00-1:21)
© 2007 KML Recordings

All the four hand 'children's' pieces are included -- Three Easy Pieces of 1915 and Five Easy Pieces of 1917 (which includes the memorable Napolitana.

Listen -- Stravinsky: Napolitana (Five Easy Pieces) (CD track 15, 0:22-0:40)
© 2007 KML Recordings

Marielle has arranged Ragtime for piano solo, and Katia three pieces from The Five Fingers (1921). The major performance is that of the Concerto for two pianos of 1935. It all ends with a performance of Victor Babin's two piano arrangement of Tango.

Listen -- Stravinsky arr Babin: Tango (CD track 25, 2:16-3:18)
© 2007 KML Recordings

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Copyright © 23 April 2008 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK

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