Burkhardt Schaefer , January 2015
This brilliant double-CD from Turkish piano-duo Güher & Süher Pekinel is no less than a compendium of the most important works for two pianos and piano for four hands. It is a live recording: The Bartók concert was recorded in 2012 at the Teatro del Maggio (Florence), and the remaining works were live recorded in the same year, as part of the Ludwigsburg Festival. Already, this live atmosphere alone proves itself to be a godsend, especially since no background noise disturbs the enjoyment of music, and the acoustics, particularly of the first CD, offers all that could be desired. Above all, however, it is the twin sister’s breathtaking, absolutely homogenous interaction, perfectly coordinated in every small detail, which makes this double-album to an audio adventure. It is wonderful, how the percussive instruments, like piano and percussion, inform one another and engage with the orchestra in the Bartók concert. Also, Schubert’s “Fantasie in F minor” has been rarely heard so intense and balanced. The highlight of this Arthaus production is Debussy’s “In Black and White,” a milestone in the two piano literature, written in 1915, the year of war. Rounding out the double-CD, there are two abstract paintings in the booklet from the duo’s brush. One can only congratulate them on their pianistic “double luck”.
Works by Bartók, Schubert, Mozart, Debussy, Manuel Infante, Poulenc, Lutoslawski, Brahms, Milhaud
Güher & Süher Pekinel (Piano, n. s.)
Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Dir.: Zubin Mehta (Bartók)
Arthaus 101 792 (2 CDs)