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Sonata for 2 Pianos & Percussion / Haydn Variation

Murray Perahia Audio CD

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In the more than 30 years he has been performing on the concert stage, American pianist Murray Perahia has become one of the most sought-after and cherished pianists of our time, performing in all of the major international music centers and with every leading orchestra. He is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with whom he has toured as conductor and ... Read more in Amazon's Murray Perahia Store

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion: I. Assai lentoMurray Perahia;David Corkhill;Evelyn Glennie;Sir George Solti12:502.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion: II. Lento, ma non troppoMurray Perahia;David Corkhill;Evelyn Glennie;Sir George Solti 6:270.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion: III. Allegro non troppoMurray Perahia;David Corkhill;Evelyn Glennie;Sir George Solti 6:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Thema. Chorale St. AntoniSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 2:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 1. Andante con motoSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 1:170.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 2. VivaceSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 1:080.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Variation 3. Con motoSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 2:200.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 4. AndanteSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 2:110.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 5. Poco prestoSir George Solti;Murray Perahia0:560.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 6. VivaceSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 1:090.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Variation 7. GraziosoSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 3:110.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Variation 8. Poco prestoSir George Solti;Murray Perahia0:540.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Variations on a Theme by Haydn for Two Pianos, Op. 56b: Finale. AndanteSir George Solti;Murray Perahia 4:140.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rhythmic and harmonic wonder 3 Oct 2003
By Archel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion is (along with the more popular Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta) the pinnacle of Bartok's fascination with exploring the percussive timbres of the piano and the expressive capacity of percussion. The pianos of Sir Georg Solti and Murray Perahia and the percussion section (3 kettledrums, xylophone, 2 side drums (one without snares), cymbals, suspended cymbals, bass drum, triangle and tam-tam) of David Corkhill and Evelyn Glennie are pretty much equals.
The result is a propulsive, thorny, cerebral, rhythmically and harmonically intricate masterpiece, which exudes a distinct mood of mystery. Listening to it, I can't help but feel it must have been a major influence on the great Cecil Taylor and his school of violently percussive and dense avant-garde/free piano improvising. Although relatively obscure, this is as stunning as anything I've heard from Bartok's range of unique masterpieces (I think I've heard them all except for the String Quartets).
The performances are stellar all around. The quality of the sound engineering and recording should impress even the fussiest audiophiles.
The Brahms piece is very beautiful, but listening to it straight after Bartok's Sonata is a bit of an anti-climax, as it is much more timid and conventional.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Gem is the Brahms 8 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD for the Bartok, which is excellent as expected. But I was surprised to discover my love for the Haydn variations by Brahms and performed with lovely vigour on this CD.
A worthwhile purchase!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars two great performances 12 Dec 2004
By Christine DiBlasi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I assume most people purchase this CD because of the Bartok, as did I, but after listening to the Brahms many times, I think it is worth emphasizing the worth of this portion of the CD. Brahms originally wrote this piece for two pianos, with the intention of orchestrating it subsequently. I believe that at this time, his ability to write for piano surpassed greatly his string and orchestral writing ability. The orchestral version, although quite masterful, doesn't really use strings in the optimal way. On the other hand, the piano version, with its ringing, sometimes percussive chords, is a profound sonic experience, and Perahia and Solti do it absolute justice. While they use the piano in impressive way as a percussion instrument, they also get the most delicate color possible out of the legato passages. Every phrase is sculpted masterfully, with repeats bringing a unique viewpoint to the first time through, so much so that they do not sound like repeats at all.

-A music lover from New York
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not my favourite. 27 Oct 2005
By Paco Yez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This was the first recoding I had of this masterwork by Bela Bartók, quite unique in its genre and one of his most personal compositions.

A long time I thought this was a very, very fine performing of the Sonata. Now, after listening some other versions (Lebeque, Argerich...), but, overall, Kontarsky's one, I really think it's a good recording but not between the best available.

Bartók's use of the piano was very close to percussion, quite the strongest part of the sonata, even harder than the percussionists in some parts of the score. This is very typical from the time of Bartók's First Piano Concert, that has a second movement quite in the same style of this Sonata. Kontarsky brothers, like Pollini or Zimerman (both in them recordings of the First Concert for DG) has shown how to play a much more strong, powerful and bartokian piano on them performing.

Solti knows Bartók's language very well, but much more better as conductor than as a pianist, and Perahia is clearly out of repertoire and style.

Even so, it's a quite good recording, but not the best, in my opinion. Deutsche Grammophon should think about releasing one more time Kontarky's version, the best ever recorded.

Good DDD sound and poor booklet.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This performance stands up well, but there's a new remastering 26 Sep 2005
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
In their recent Great Performances reissue series, Sony has sensibly combined this reading of the Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with the rest of Perahia's Bartok recordings, which were previously in a three-CD box of miscellaneous composers. The pairing we have here, the two-paino arrangement of Brahms's Haydn Variations, isn't that strongly performed by Solti and Perahia. Tempos are sluggish, and the second piano--who I assume is Solti--sounds clumsy. I think the work is too difficult to bring off even by great musicians who aren't regular partners.

The outstanding feature of the Bartok performance is the percussion. The deaf virtuoso Evelyn Glennie went on to become an international star. Both percussoinists are well recorded, and they play with exactness and impact. The wide stereo separation puts each piano in its own channel--I don't know which is Solti and which Perahia, however--with the percussion spread out over a wide stage behind them. That's a good way to do it, giving us a recreation of Bartok's precise seating instructions.

Having heard the Bartok sonata live as well as on records, I find that the percussive quality of the painos becomes jarring when there's no hall ambience to absorb it. You feel assualted at home, and the clash of cymbals and tam tam isn't so much thrilling (as it is in concert) as noisily irritating. Microphones have a long way to go to equal the human ear. Having said that, this Sony release is the best recorded of the five versions I've either owned or heard, so I can accept the somewhat underplayed piano parts.
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