Prokofiev for Two

Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan

SKU: 4835262

Barcode: 028948352623

25.00 £25.00

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Pianists and longtime collaborators Martha Argerich and Sergei Babayan team up for Prokofiev for Two, an album of two-piano transcriptions by Babayan of Prokofiev’s music for stage and screen. Dedicated to Argerich, it features a 12-movement transcription of pieces from the Russian composer’s ballet Romeo and Juliet and a seven-movement suite derived from Prokofiev’s incidental music for Hamlet and Eugene Onegin, his film score for The Queen of Spades and his opera War and Peace.

Argerich is already renowned for her interpretations of Prokofiev’s music. The Argentine-born artist, hailed as one of the greatest pianists of all time, included the composer’s turbulent “Toccata” in her DG recital debut album, recorded in 1960. She reinforced her international reputation 7 years later with a landmark recording for the yellow label of Prokofiev’s “Third Piano Concerto” with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Claudio Abbado. “I have loved Prokofiev ever since I can recall,” notes Argerich. “And people think he loves me too sometimes! I love the way Sergei plays Prokofiev…I very much liked his proposal that we should play his transcription of Romeo and Juliet and feel very honoured that he dedicated it to me.”

Babayan’s love for Prokofiev, like Argerich’s, is deeply rooted, dating back to his childhood in Armenia and student days at the Moscow Conservatoire. Having left the USSR for the first time in 1989, he settled in the U.S. Time and again, Babayan has paid tribute to Prokofiev, playing several of his piano concertos with Valery Gergiev including at the 2015 BBC Proms in a monumental concert with the London Symphony Orchestra featuring all five of the works. His new Prokofiev transcriptions are both dedicated to Martha Argerich. “This project happened because of my love for Prokofiev, my love for Martha and my love for the ballet Romeo and Juliet,” reflects Babayan.

Prokofiev for Two is driven by the passion and power of an ideal keyboard partnership. Argerich considers playing in a duo with Babayan to be “a thing of alchemy – a discovery.” For his part, Babayan says the experience of performing with Argerich is like joining a conversation with a divine being, one in which “you cannot be mundane or ordinary…Martha will somehow pull out the best from you.”

Martha Argerich, piano
Sergei Babayan, piano

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Track Listings

12 Movements from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64
1. Prologue
2. Dance Of The Knights
3. Morning Dance
4. Quarrel
5. Gavotte
6. Juliet As A Young Girl - The Nurse Delivers Juliet's Letter To Romeo
7. Folk Dance
8. Dance With Mandolines
9. Morning Serenade
10. Dance Of Five Couples
11. Romeo And Juliet Before Departure
12. Death Of Tybalt
Incidental Music to Hamlet, Op. 77
13.The Ghost Of Hamlet's Father
Incidental Music to Eugene Onegin, Op. 71
The Queen of Spades, Op. 70
Pushkin Waltzes, Op. 120
17. Waltz No. 2 In C Sharp Minor
War and Peace, Op. 91
18. Natasha's And Andrei's Valse
The Queen of Spades, Op. 70
19. Idée fixe

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