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The music on this disc highlights the highly perfumed world of French composer Florent Schmitt (1870–1958) and presents two world premiere recordings. Only the three Op 53 Rapsodies of 1903–4 for two pianos are otherwise currently represented (on Dutton Vocalion), although they were previously recorded by Robert and Gaby Casadesus in the 1950s. The central Polonaise has an energy and ferocity that seems to prefigure the wildness of Ravel’s La valse. Schmitt’s finale, itself a waltz (‘Viennoise’) is harmonically adventurous and the duo bring great swing to its later stages. At over 30 minutes, the Sept Pièces was Schmitt’s first large-scale cycle for piano duet and it exudes a mood of sweet reminiscence. The Rhapsodie Parisienne, with which the disc ends, is again for piano duet and is currently unpublished. The Invencia Duo’s nonchalant delivery perfectly matches the spirit of the piece as they track the harmony’s sweet twists and turns with exquisite precision.

COLIN CLARKE Read the full review on Agora Classica

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Piano International, 2013 - ©Rhinegold Publishing