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The Long Ear

The pianist, composer, producer and renaissance musician Jeroen van Veen has played many concerts with both his wife Sandra and his brother Maarten, and has recorded with both of them for Brilliant Classics. The present compilation brings together a unique sequence of masterpieces for the genre in live and studio performances, made between 1992 and 2008, and given by the brothers as Piano Duo Van Veen. This pocket history of the piano duo opens - as it must - with the F minor Fantasy of Schubert. All elements of Schubert's art can be found in the Fantasy: his gift for a sublime, gently unfolding melody; melancholy harmonic turns from major to minor; high drama within a spacious symphonic design; intricate counterpoint in the finale. Less well known but no less accomplished in it's way is the set of Beethoven variations by Camille Saint-Saëns, a polished transformation of a minuet theme. This 1992 studio recording concludes with a pair of 20th-century pieces which capitalize on the energy and momentum of the piano duo genre as a whole: La valse of Ravel and the Paganini Variations of Lutoslawski, which never fail to raise the pulse and receive here barnstorming performances. The adrenaline level increases further with a sequence of live performances on album 2, opening with Rachmaninov's gorgeous Russian Rhapsody and continuing with The Rite of Spring in the version which Stravinsky first performed with his friends in Paris prior to the ballet's notorious public premiere in 1911. In his Monologue of 1964, Zimmermann developed the thread of his Dialogue for two pianos and orchestra with a collage technique which quotes from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in which the two pianists muse almost to themselves at times. Rounding off this collection in epic style is the apotheosis of Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen.
The pianist, composer, producer and renaissance musician Jeroen van Veen has played many concerts with both his wife Sandra and his brother Maarten, and has recorded with both of them for Brilliant Classics. The present compilation brings together a unique sequence of masterpieces for the genre in live and studio performances, made between 1992 and 2008, and given by the brothers as Piano Duo Van Veen. This pocket history of the piano duo opens - as it must - with the F minor Fantasy of Schubert. All elements of Schubert's art can be found in the Fantasy: his gift for a sublime, gently unfolding melody; melancholy harmonic turns from major to minor; high drama within a spacious symphonic design; intricate counterpoint in the finale. Less well known but no less accomplished in it's way is the set of Beethoven variations by Camille Saint-Saëns, a polished transformation of a minuet theme. This 1992 studio recording concludes with a pair of 20th-century pieces which capitalize on the energy and momentum of the piano duo genre as a whole: La valse of Ravel and the Paganini Variations of Lutoslawski, which never fail to raise the pulse and receive here barnstorming performances. The adrenaline level increases further with a sequence of live performances on album 2, opening with Rachmaninov's gorgeous Russian Rhapsody and continuing with The Rite of Spring in the version which Stravinsky first performed with his friends in Paris prior to the ballet's notorious public premiere in 1911. In his Monologue of 1964, Zimmermann developed the thread of his Dialogue for two pianos and orchestra with a collage technique which quotes from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in which the two pianists muse almost to themselves at times. Rounding off this collection in epic style is the apotheosis of Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen.
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The pianist, composer, producer and renaissance musician Jeroen van Veen has played many concerts with both his wife Sandra and his brother Maarten, and has recorded with both of them for Brilliant Classics. The present compilation brings together a unique sequence of masterpieces for the genre in live and studio performances, made between 1992 and 2008, and given by the brothers as Piano Duo Van Veen. This pocket history of the piano duo opens - as it must - with the F minor Fantasy of Schubert. All elements of Schubert's art can be found in the Fantasy: his gift for a sublime, gently unfolding melody; melancholy harmonic turns from major to minor; high drama within a spacious symphonic design; intricate counterpoint in the finale. Less well known but no less accomplished in it's way is the set of Beethoven variations by Camille Saint-Saëns, a polished transformation of a minuet theme. This 1992 studio recording concludes with a pair of 20th-century pieces which capitalize on the energy and momentum of the piano duo genre as a whole: La valse of Ravel and the Paganini Variations of Lutoslawski, which never fail to raise the pulse and receive here barnstorming performances. The adrenaline level increases further with a sequence of live performances on album 2, opening with Rachmaninov's gorgeous Russian Rhapsody and continuing with The Rite of Spring in the version which Stravinsky first performed with his friends in Paris prior to the ballet's notorious public premiere in 1911. In his Monologue of 1964, Zimmermann developed the thread of his Dialogue for two pianos and orchestra with a collage technique which quotes from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in which the two pianists muse almost to themselves at times. Rounding off this collection in epic style is the apotheosis of Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen.
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