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The Amsterdam Piano Duo’s pedigree stretches back 35 years to 1980, audible in their masterful collaboration . The Studies in canonic form (1845) were one of a series of experimental works Schumann wrote for pedal piano to explore counterpoint, and they exist in a variety of more accessible transcriptions. Here, Bizet’s version fluently and deftly opens out the textures so that the lines are easier to follow. The six miniatures Pictures from the East (1848) were inspired by Rückert’s reworking of the medieval Arab Maqamat of Hariri, with its engaging, instructive tales of Abu Seid depicted with telling expressivity. The 12 Pieces for Younger and Older Children (1849) served equally didactic, expressive and commercial purposes, for pairs of young pianists – of different, even calculatedly technical levels – to follow up Album for the Young’s success. Jordans and Van Doeselaar nail them in beautifully clear, resonant sound.

GUY RICKARDS Read the full review on Agora Classica


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