When global concert and recording artists Paul Lewis and Steven Osborne teamed up a couple of years ago to record an album of piano duo music by Schubert, it seemed they might become the new dream team in this repertoire. Now they are back with a second helping.
French Duets delivers exactly what it says on the tin, with music by Fauré, Poulenc, Debussy, Stravinsky and Ravel: some of the brightest gems in the piano duo treasury. And to my taste at least, this recording surpasses the last, becoming an immediate favourite.
Once in every while a music book arrives on my review desk which is simply too wonderful for words, and yes! this is one of those!
Surprisingly so, perhaps, given that on paper this looks like a rather plain anthology of well-worn diploma repertoire. According to the blurb,
“This unique collection contains 21 pieces from the ATCL repertoire list for Music Performance Diplomas in Piano from 2019. The most popular recital choices join lesser-known treasures, allowing performers to create diverse and compelling programmes, whether preparing for a Trinity diploma or not.”
So you’re possibly wondering what lifts it above the exam jargon and makes it truly special. Let’s find out…