This must be one of the fastest CDs ever produced, recorded and released within a couple of weeks! And very fresh it sounds too! In fact the combination of the Vienna Philharmonic and Bychkov produces extraordinary results in the all-French programme. Starting with the Farandole from Bizet's L'Arlesienne, which has an exquisite nobility and poise, and continuing with the rude energy of Berlioz's Marche Hongroise should be enough of a lead-in to the most cataclysmic concerto performance, but nothing could prepare the listener for the Labeque sisters' mirage-like dispatch of Poulenc's Concerto for Two Pianos. The range of colours, the sheer speed, the playing with the piano, the rubato; they certainly put a rush on Poulenc's fabulous writing. It usually sounds a bit quirky, if fun, but here it sounds visionary, like the total realisation of something never before heard - an event as big as the landing of E.T., as glistening as the northern lights, as saturated as a desert sun shimmering under the horizon like a huge blob about to drip away ... It is the kind of playing that makes you think it must be Martha Argerich at her most mercurial, but the Labeques seem to have stolen a march on her in Poulenc. This truly sizzles, the pastiche going beyond irony back into the hyperreal. Ravel comes in more restrained colours after this, but cushioned beautifully in the fantasy soundscapes of Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2; Bolero is not pushed too hard, but is a smorgasbord of orchestral colour, through which light appears through the detachment in the rhythmic figure. A fairly deliberate Cancan follows - one to give the dancers time to raise their legs without strain or falling behind ... and the chamber strands of Wiener Blut end the evening on a note of midsummer nostalgia.