Ravel, Bizet, Debussy

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COMPOSERS: Bizet,Debussy,Ravel
LABELS: Deux-Elles
WORKS: Ma mère l’oye; La valse
PERFORMER: Philip Moore, Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: DXL 1040
The Kontarskys, the Labèques, the Ogdons – often successful piano duos seem to benefit from being related, or at least married to one another. Philip Moore and Simon Crawford-Phillips are to the best of my knowledge neither of these things, but they have that crucial quality of appearing to think with one brain, moving their fingers in response to a single artistic impulse. The effect is deceptive: rather like the Aztecs who regarded a Spaniard on a horse as being a single entity, it seems that we are listening to just one artist. This composite pianist plays Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with immense grace and sensitivity to the weight of silence. In Bizet’s Jeux d’enfants he is innocent and full of enchantment, and plays with such charm as to persuade that this is the most delightful piece ever written for the medium. Similarly in Ravel’s Ma mère l’oye, childlike simplicity and technical sophistication go hand in hand. Nothing trips him up, not even the exhausting and slightly pointless gymnastics of Ravel’s La valse. A remarkable young pianist: look out for him. Christopher Wood

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