Duos for piano and organ Johann STRAUSS II (1825-1899)
Die Fledermaus; overture (1874) (arr. Jonathan Scott)
[8:31] Félix-Alexandre GUILMANT (1837-1911)
Pastorale Op.26 (1870) [4:03] Flor PEETERS (1903-1986)
Concerto for organ and piano Op.74 (1953) [17:06] Camille SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
Carnival of the Animals (1886) (arr. Jonathan Scott) – The
Swan [2:46] and Finale [1:48] Marcel DUPRÉ (1886-1971)
Variations on Two Themes Op.35 (1937) [11:56] Christoph Willibald
von GLUCK (1714-1787)
Mélodie from Orfeo ed Euridice (1762) (arr. Jonathan Scott) [3:26] Franz LISZT (1811-1886)
Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 (1847) (arr. Jonathan Scott)
(piano), Jonathan Scott (organ)
rec. Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 26 July 2007 SCOTT
BROTHERS DUO SBDRCD001 [60:29]
wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I saw the programme
for this recital of duos for piano and organ. Certainly
the Dupré and Peeters looked enticing but there seemed
to be some programmatic flim flam along the way – The Swan
and the Gluck Melodie? Happily my fears were soon dispelled
because this is a terrific disc from two young brothers,
recorded in the resplendent acoustic of the Bridgewater
Fledermaus Overture is arranged by Jonathan Scott and gets
the recital off to a suitably galvanizing start. Fortunately
the vital matter of just balance between the two instruments
has been well managed and if there’s a whiff of the Municipal
Gardens, Bournemouth, circa 1928 about it all, well that’s
not necessarily a bad thing in my book. The Guilmant soon
heads things into a more decisive direction. The Pastoral
dates from 1870 and was originally written for harmonium
and piano, later being transcribed for the present forces
and here further arranged for the organ pedals and piano
by Jonathan Scott. This might seem a convoluted genesis
for so essentially warmly lyric a work but when the results
are as beautiful as this why complain?
Peeters’s Concerto is full of neo-classical vitality and
sparkling colour in its outer movements, played with freshness
and ardour by the young Scott brothers. The central Arioso
is a melodic paradise and equally verdant in its pleasures.
Marcel Dupré wrote his Variations on Two Themes in 1935.
He was certainly precocious in many ways but surely the
notes mean that he studied with Guilmant in 1898 not 1888,
when the mite would have been two years old. The Variations
are brilliantly intricate and arrayed, complex and textually
rich – a deeply rewarding piece of music, played with equal
intelligence and control.
for the ubiquitous Swan it’s actually not so bad; the Gluck
Melodie is rather better. Jonathan Scott notes that his
own arrangement was inspired by such other versions as
those by Rachmaninoff and Heifetz, taking a “non historical” approach.
The recital ends with Liszt’s pile driving Hungarian Rhapsody
No.2 in another Jonathan Scot arrangement. Once again this
has a rather inter-war feel to it, a bit sepulchral and
Bela Lugosi-like, but it’s certainly interesting to hear
these young musicians’ versatile take on it.
commented briefly earlier on the excellent recorded quality.
There’s a colourful booklet in the open-out card housing
the disc. The disc is released on the brothers’ own label – they’ve
made a fine start with this engaging and balanced recital.
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