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• Duo Pleyel (Richard Egarr and Alexandra Nepomnyashchaya) makes its recording debut with a programme of works for piano four-hands by Schubert, whose contribution to this genre exceeds that of any other composer.
• Aside from being hugely enjoyable this repertoire features some of Schubert’s finest piano writing. • Schubert’s great F minor Fantasie, although justly famous, represents only a small proportion of his music for piano four-hands.
• It is an extraordinary body of work which demonstrates the gathering importance of this compositional medium.
• Duo Pleyel brings this famous Fantasie into context with other lesserknown works such as the wonderfully melodic early Sonata in B flat major, written when Schubert was 21, and the two contrasting Rondos: the Rondo in D major and the Rondo in A major (Schubert’s final work for piano four-hands).
• Perhaps the star composition is the passionate Allegro in A minor, written a month after the Fantasie, and sometimes known by its posthumous title “Lebenssturme”; it gives us a clear picture of Schubert’s inner life: of a man who wrote ‘Every night when I go to bed, I hope that I may never wake again, and every morning renews my grief.’