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Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Borodin & Babin:

Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Borodin & Babin:

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The year 1972 saw the death of Victor Babin, one half of the legendary Vronsky & Babin, arguably the most brilliant piano duo of the 20th century and a worldwide sensation for over three decades. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Babin’s death Katerina Moskaleva and Alexey Pudinov, themselves two musical forces of nature, come together as TWO4PIANO, a duo perfectly suited for breathing new life into Victor Babin’s appealing and colorful repertoire. Including newly rediscovered scores, this special program takes us from Rachmaninov’s unmistakably Romantic style via Borodin’s rousing folkloric rhythms and Tchaikovsky’s balletic waltzes to Babin’s own remarkable evocations of a bygone era.

REVIEWS:

The great sound and clarity heard here makes me think all pieces were played on two pianos. This is [Moskaleva and Pudinov's] third CD together.

Outside of Babin’s 3 Fantasies on Old Themes, all of the music is transcribed from other sources. Whether Rachmaninoff songs or Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff and Borodin orchestrations, Babin’s arrangements are spectacular. Both from a brilliance perspective and from a musical one, the knowledge of what two pianists can effectively do is performance-oriented. I’m sure these pieces were played, and likely refined, in the concerts of Vronsky and Babin. There is not an easy piece on this program. When notes aren’t flying around at the softest and loudest levels, there are beautiful melodies that are shaped and balanced by Moskaleva and Pudinov in this Homage to Victor Babin.

Since I know and like all of the music here except the Babin pieces, this was an easy disc to listen to many times. I remain astounded at the technical expertise and stamina shown in the Polovtsian Dances (one of my lifetime favorite pieces). I have been fortunate to accompany singers in all three of the Rachmaninoff songs and appreciate the integration of voice and piano parts, as well as the extra things added, especially in `Spring Waters’. The 41 bars of `Here It Is Beautiful’ are among the most exquisite ever written by the great Russian composer. Babin does not clutter this one up with unnecessary figurations; and the touch, unity, and musicality of Moskaleva and Pudinov are shown in their best light here.

The Tchaikovsky group is a great idea. Taken from four different sources, they are immediately recognizable as Tchaikovsky, but not all are as well known as the Swan Lake and Nutcracker selections. Rimsky’s `Cradle Song’ is from Sadko and quite beautiful. The `Dance of the Tumblers’ (from Snow Maiden) is something I heard most recently as an encore to a Trifonov-Babayan duo recital in 2018 at Carnegie Hall.

This is a fantastic performance.

-- American Record Guide

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Product Description:


  • Release Date: December 09, 2022


  • UPC: 730099146234


  • Catalog Number: 8551462


  • Label: Naxos


  • Number of Discs: 1


  • Period: Romantic, 20th Century


  • Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Borodin, Victor Babin


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: TWO4PIANO


  • Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov



Works:


  1. Serenade in C Major, Op. 48: II. Waltz (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  2. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24, Act II: Waltz (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  3. Swan Lake, Op. 20, Act I: Waltz (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  4. The Nutcracker, Op. 71, Act II: Waltz of the Flowers (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  5. Sadko: Son pa bereshku hadil, "Cradle Song" (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  6. Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden), Act III: Dance of the Tumblers (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  7. 12 Songs, Op. 21: No. 7. Zdes' khorosho (It's Lovely Here) (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  8. 12 Songs, Op. 14: No. 11. Vesenniye vodï (Floods of Spring) (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  9. 14 Songs, Op. 34: No. 14. Vocalise (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Sergei Rachmaninoff

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  10. Knyaz Igor (Prince Igor), Act II: Polovtsian Dances (arr. V. Babin for 2 pianos)

    Composer: Alexander Borodin

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)


  11. 3 Fantasies on Old Themes

    Composer: Victor Babin

    Ensemble: Two4Piano

    Performer: Katerina Moskaleva, Alexey Pudinov (Pianos)