STRAVINSKY: Music for Two Pianos (Benjamin Frith/ Gary Cole/ Peter Hill) (Naxos: 8.553386)
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Stravinsky composed his music at the keyboard, often struggling to play his own complex rhythms. It is not surprising therefore that many of his symphonic works also exist in his own piano versions, such as the four hand transcription of his ballet, The Rite of Spring. It is a pianistic tour de force, the players often having to interweave fingers, hands and arms to meet the composers tremendous demands of virtuosity.
The work has for many years formed part of the standard repertoire of Benjamin Frith and Peter Hill. They have played it throughout England to astonished audiences, and have broadcast this (and the other two works on this disc) on BBC Radio 3.
The performance is staggeringly brilliant, superbly recorded in St Silas Church, London on a wonderful Bosendorfer Imperial Grand.
The duo are now recording exclusively for Naxos, Peter Hill will be recording the complete music by Stravinsky for two hands at sessions this summer.