J. Brahms / C. Saint-Saëns Sonata for Two Pianos et al., G. & S. Pekinel
4 Seasons, Alessandrini
Brahms is also involved in this re-discovery of a work. If his F minor sonata for two pianos sounds familiar, it’s probably because you know it in its later incarnation, the Piano Quintet. Brahms, who arranged most of his works for two pianos, knew the genre well and it shows in this sonata. Far from being a mere study for the later, more famous work, or a slimmed-down version of it, it stands on its own solid legs (six, I suppose) and instead of pointing toward the quintet, perhaps Brahms' quintessential chamber work, it suggests an orchestral piece underneath. The Turkish-delight piano duo, the Pekinel sisters Güher and Süher, are up for anything (Bach á la Jacques Loussier was a recent album of theirs) and they make this substantial (40 minute) work the main attraction of a disc that also includes two Hungarian Dances (5 and 17) and the Five Waltzes, op.39 as well as Saint-Saëns’ Variations on a Theme of Beethoven, op.25. All of them entertaining and delightful-novel in their own right as they are, you should want to dip your ears for the Sonata alone!
Warner Classics 2564 61050-2