Mozart/Reger/Busoni: Music for 2 Pianos (2CD)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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As individual artists, Andras Schiff and Peter Serkin easily count among the first rank of today's pianists, bringing uniquely probing but quite distinctive qualities to the instrument. Yet this disc--featuring works the duo performed together in an unusual 1997 live concert tour--presents a fascinating paradox: their joint playing leads neither to a struggle of egos nor to bland compromise. Mozart's sublimely compressed Fugue in C Minor wonderfully sets the mood for the elaborate contrapuntal proceedings to follow. Max Reger is usually described as a ponderous, pedantic composer on the wrong side of history. But his neo-Brahmsian Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven (the theme in question being from one of the late bagatelles) leads to an end-of-the-world fugue that's quite exciting in the hands of Schiff and Serkin. The way in which their personalities emerge and complement each other often has the effect of peering into a hall of mirrors. The real highlight here is the vast, idiosyncratic aural cathedral conjured by Ferrucio Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica. One of the great eccentric minor masters, Busoni was inspired by Bach's unfinished summa, Art of the Fugue, to construct this half-hour edifice, full of aeries and labyrinthine turns, which also happens to exploit the full potential of the two-piano idiom. After so much counterpoint, the clarity of Mozart's only duo-piano sonata (K. 448) is like a revelation. In their joyous and raptly unified account, Serkin explores disparate shades of softness as he echoes Schiff's glassy runs. A must-have for piano nuts. --Thomas May


  1. Fugue in C minor, K426
  2. Variations and Fugue on a theme of Beethoven, Op. 86
  3. Fantasia contrappuntistica (version IV), K256b
  4. Allegro con spirito
  5. Andante
  6. Allegro molto
Utgitt 1999 Format 2CD
Sjanger Klassisk Antall disker 2
Antall spor 6 Artist András Schiff, Ferruccio Busoni, Max Reger, Peter Serkin, Tom Lazarus, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Bestillingsnummer 4650622