on 13 July 2012
The F minor Fantasie, is Schubert's greatest work for four hands, as cyclical as his very different, ultra-virtuoso wanderer fantasie and evoking in its opening and closing "long-legged" theme a despondency made all the more heartfelt for its restrained eloquence.
Yet the Fantasie's alternating drama and introspection is not realised to the full by the Ykeda duo, even when momentum or impetus is required everything is taken at a very pedestrian pace and distinctly unshowy playing. It really isn't a performance to recommend.
The three Marches militaires take us from the familiar No 1 to the rumbustious final march where the Ykedas compensate for their earlier lack of exuberance with fluency and empathy.
The disc concludes with the Divertissement a l'hongroise written in a popular Hungarian style predating Liszt and returning us once more to both intimacy and exuberance but not really achieving that objective.
All these works are excellently recorded, though the accompanying eulogistic notes only tell you of the Ykeda's union of two sharply contrasting nationalities and nothing about the music.