Darius Milhaud; Francis Poulenc; Claude Debussy: Works for Four Hands

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Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva perform a stunning selection of French 20th-century music for piano four hands.
Both Milhaud and Poulenc were members of Les Six, a band of composers who specialised in producing colourful, quirky and highly original scores. Milhaud’s Scaramouche epitomises the wit and joie de vivre of this approach and has become one of his most popular works – although at the time the composer nearly forbade its publication. Poulenc combined grace and sparkling humour with a nobility that reflected his desire for a ‘return to simplicity’. His Élégie was written ‘as if improvising with a cigar in your mouth and a glass of cognac on the table’, while the Sonata for Four Hands is full of finger-crossing intricacies, and at the heart of the Sonata for Two Pianos is an Andantino described by the composer as ‘a lyrical, profound outburst… It is piano without pretence, real piano where each instrument converses with the other in perfect understanding and without interrupting.’ Debussy’s evocative Nocturnes arranged by Ravel conclude the release.
Catalogue number ORC100270
Barcode 5060189562701
Release date 17/11/2023
Label Orchid Classics
Format CD
Number of discs 1
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