Katie & Marielle Labeque: Piano Fantasy, Music for Two Pianos (6 CD box set, FLAC)
Katie & Marielle Labeque: Piano Fantasy, Music for Two Pianos (6 CD box set, FLAC)

Performer: Katia and Marielle Labèque
Orchestra: Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Riccardo Chailly, Seiji Ozawa
Composer: Johannes Brahms, Antonin Dvorak, Georges Bizet, Gabriel Faure, Maurice Ravel
Audio CD
SPARS Code: DDD
Number of Discs: 6 CD box set
Format: FLAC (image+cue)
Label: Philips
ASIN: B00008CLIF
Size: 1.21 GB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Disc 1:
01. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 1 in G minor (Allegro molto)
02. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 2 in D minor (Allegro non assai)
03. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 3 in F (Allegretto)
04. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 4 in F minor (Poco sostenuto)
05. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 5 in F sharp minor (Allegro)
06. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 6 in D flat (Vivace)
07. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 7 in A (Allegretto)
08. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 8 in A minor (Presto)
09. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 9 in E minor (Allegro non troppo)
10. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 10 in E (Presto)
11. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 11 in A minor (Poco andante)
12. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 12 in D minor (Presto)
13. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 13 in D (Andantino grazioso)
14. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 14 in D minor (Un poco andante)
15. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 15 in B flat (Allegretto grazioso)
16. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 16 in F minor (Con moto)
17. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 17 in F sharp minor (Andantino)
18. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 18 in D (Molto vivace)
19. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 19 in B minor (Allegretto)
20. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 20 in E minor (Poco allegretto)
21. Hungarian Dances Nos. 1 – 21 – for Piano Duet – No. 21 in E minor (Vivace)

Disc 2:
01. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 1. No.1 in C (Presto)
02. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 2. No.2 in E minor (Allegretto scherzando)
03. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 3. No.3 in D (Allegretto scherzando)
04. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 4. No.4 in F (Tempo di menuetto)
05. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 5. No.5 in A (Allegro vivace)
06. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 6. No.6 in A flat (Poco allegro)
07. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 7. No.7 in C minor (Allegro assai)
08. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.46 – For Piano Duet – 8. No.8 in G minor (Presto)
09. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 1. No.1 in B (Molto vivace)
10. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 2. No.2 in E minor (Allegretto grazioso)
11. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 3. No.3 in F (Allegro)
12. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 4. No.4 in D flat (Allegretto grazioso)
13. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 5. No.5 in B flat minor (Poco adagio)
14. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 6. No.6 in B flat (Moderato)
15. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 7. No.7 in C (Presto)
16. 8 Slavonic Dances, Op.72 – For Piano Duet – 8. No.8 in A flat (Lento grazioso, quasi tempo di valse)

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Disc 3:
01. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 1. L’escarpolette
02. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 2. La toupie
03. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 3. La poupée
04. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 4. Les chevaux de bois
05. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 5. Le volant
06. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 6. Trompette et tamboer
07. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 7. Les bulles de savon
08. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 8. Les quatre coins
09. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 9. Colin-maillard
10. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 10. Saute-mouton
11. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 11. Petit mari, petite femme
12. Jeux d’enfants, Op.22 – 12 pieces for Piano duet – 12. Le bal
13. Dolly, Op.56 – 1. Berceuse
14. Dolly, Op.56 – 2. Mi-A-Ou
15. Dolly, Op.56 – 3. Le Jardin de Dolly
16. Dolly, Op.56 – 4. Kitty-Valse
17. Dolly, Op.56 – 5. Tendresse
18. Dolly, Op.56 – 6. Le pas Espagnol
19. Ma mère l’oye – for Piano Duet – 1. Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
20. Ma mère l’oye – for Piano Duet – 2. Petit Poucet
21. Ma mère l’oye – for Piano Duet – 3. Laideronnette, Impératrice des Pagodes
22. Ma mère l’oye – for Piano Duet – 4. Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête
23. Ma mère l’oye – for Piano Duet – 5. Le jardin féerique
24. Capriccio (d’après le Bal Masqué) for 2 Pianos
25. Elégie (en accords alternés) for 2 Pianos
26. L’embarquement pour Cythère, valse-musette for 2 Pianos
27. Scaramouche, Suite for 2 Pianos – 1. Vif
28. Scaramouche, Suite for 2 Pianos – 2. Modéré
29. Scaramouche, Suite for 2 Pianos – 3. Brazileira (Mouvement de samba)

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Disc 4:
01. La vida breve – Transc.: Gustave Samazeuilh – Act 2 – Spanish Dance No.1
02. La vida breve – Transc.: Gustave Samazeuilh – Act 2 – Spanish Dance No.2
03. El amor brujo – Transcr.: Mario Bragiotti – Ritual Fire Dance
04. Andalucía – Suite – Malagueña
05. Suite española, Op.47 – Transcr. Isaac Albéniz – Sevilla (Sevillanas)
06. Suite española, Op.47 – Transcr. Isaac Albéniz – Cádiz (Canción) (Op. 181)
07. Suite española, Op.47 – Transcr. Isaac Albéniz – Aragon (Fantasia) (Op. 164/1)
08. Suite española, Op.47 – Transcr. Isaac Albéniz – Castilla (Seguidillas) (Op. 232/5)
09. Pavana-Capricho, Op.12 – Transcr. Isaac Albéniz
10. Iberia – Transcribed by E. Granados – Book 2 – Triana
11. Navarra – Transcr.: Frank Marshall
12. Danses andalouses – 1. Ritmo
13. Danses andalouses – 2. Sentimiento
14. Danses andalouses – 3. Gracia (El vito)

Disc 5:
01. Capriccio italien, Op.45
02. Fantasy in A minor, Op.posth.
03. Swan Lake, Op.20 – Danse russe
04. Swan Lake, Op.20 – Danse espagnole
05. Swan Lake, Op.20 – Danse napolitaine
06. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 – Introduction – La fée des lilas
07. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 – Adagio. Pas d’action
08. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 – Pas de caractère
09. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 – Panorama
10. The Sleeping Beauty, Op.66 – Valse
11. Slavonic March, Op.31 – Arr. for two pianos by A. Batalin

Disc 6:
01. Rhapsody in Blue
02. Piano Concerto in F – 1. Allegro
03. Piano Concerto in F – 2. Adagio
04. Piano Concerto in F – 3. Allegro agitato
05. Rhapsody in Blue – For 2 pianos & orchestra
06. Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in D minor – 1. Allegro ma non troppo
07. Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in D minor – 2. Larghetto
08. Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in D minor – 3. Finale (Allegro molto)

Delightful traversal of the two-piano repertory with the amazing Labeque sisters

The keyboard aficionados from all over the world know that Katia and Marielle Labeque are the most famous pianistic duo on the international concert stage now. They have reigned supreme in the territory of the two keyboards repertoire for some three decades and still seem inexhaustible in musical resources when conveying its marvels. Their performances are always eagerly anticipated and greeted enthusiastically, as they are replete with uneven virtuosity and blazing sense of music-making. Therefore, I consider that Philips proved itself – once more – very inspired to gather (in a 6CD box set) and release (in 2003, to a worldwide acclaim) a great deal of the recordings made for this label by Katia and Marielle since early `80.

By this retrospective, one can not only witness their artistic development (fascinating by itself when speaking about such great artists) during that period or the steps in the evolution of the recording techniques (from ADD to DDD, detectable in the sound quality differences, yet not properly bothering), but one can also traverse almost the whole variety of European styles and enjoy a truly great music. We are offered in this collection mainly Central European music, since no less than two CDs are devoted to the complete sets of Hungarian Dances by Brahms and Slavonic Dances by Dvorak. Other 3 CDs are allocated respectively to French music (Bizet, Faure, Ravel, Poulenc, Milhaud), Spanish music (de Falla, Albeniz, Infante, plus the Cuban Lecuona) and Russian one (Tchaikovsky, Scriabin). Some pieces for piano and orchestra (Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin, Double concerto by Poulenc) compound the last CD of the series.

All in all, to listen to this set is a delightful experience, mainly for it features that unmatched passion of music-making and dazzling virtuosity we have come to expect from each performance by Katia & Marielle Labeque. Gems – like the haunting Slavonic Dance op.72 No.1 in B major with its vivid rhythms and winsome tunes, or the two-piano version of the famous Rhapsody in Blue, or the wonderful Capriccio italien by Tchaikovsky, to name but a few – are also part in the enchanting effect of these recordings. Enjoy!

Too Good to Miss

The review by “Doug-Haydn Fan” is spot on. This is a wonderful collection of the Labeque sisters spanning approximately 15 years. It includes most of the recordings the sisters made for the Philips label – most discs are previous Philips albums in their entirety.

If you’ve never listened to the Labeques, buy it without worry, it is guaranteed to please any lover of piano music. It’s filled with their characteristic energetic style and flair, but without any hint of being over done.

If you are a new fan of the Labeques, having heard some of their releases since 1996, this collection will delight you as a perfect record of what might be called the second phase of their careers, roughly from ages 30 to 45.

If you already own some of these recordings, you know this price is too good to pass up. Consider it as a perfect gift to share with friends who love classical music. Or better yet, consider it for those who aren’t familiar with classical. You’ll receive many thanks either way.

Lastly, these Philips recordings are magnificent. All the Philips classical recordings I’ve heard during this period are of the highest quality and clarity, and these are no different. The dynamic range is right at the limit of recording technology (and the human ear). Don’t try to listen to these in the car (unless it is turned off), as you’ll miss the most subtle details of the soft passages, then blow out your windows when suddenly the sisters are pounding the keyboards.

13 Comments

  1. Many thanks for this.

    I just love the playing of these sisters.

    Reminds me of how me and my own sisters used to play duets together. Unfortunately not as well!!

  2. Another great upload. Thank you for many hours of pleasure with the fabulous Labeque sisters.

  3. I went immediately to Disc 6 and their rendition of Rhapsody in Blue.
    So good its worth the whole set. Very enjoyable.

    Bob

    1. And the sound moves from speaker to speaker; how cleverly done by the recording engineer in mixing his tracks.
      Just me again.
      Bob

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