Piano duets by Alkan, Meyerbeer, and Moscheles. Recorded on Erard pianos in the Janmaat Collection, Amsterdam.
Stephanie McCallum and Erin Helyard are delighted to announce the release of their first album together. Following on from best-selling albums as soloists, McCallum and Helyard now display the fruits of their long association as duet partners with a CD of remarkable four-hand music on meticulously restored historical Erard pianos, featuring a selection of early Romantic Parisian/Jewish music by Charles-Valentin Alkan, Giacomo Meyerbeer, and Ignaz Moscheles.
Meyerbeer’s overture to his grand opera, Le Prophète, arranged by Alkan, is a world premiere recording of a work with a fascinating history—almost as dramatic as the operatic storyline itself. In the opera, a fraudulent leader claims divinity; there is violence, betrayal, suicide, inspiring battle songs, processional marches, and a stirring triumphal hymn which recalls sun breaking through misty gloom before a final conflagration. Lost for over a century, this wonderful overture has been rediscovered recently in its orchestral form but is presented here for the first time with the extraordinary colours of the Erard, enlivened by four hands.
Each Erard piano on the disc (1839, 1847, and 1898) matches the date and character of each composition. The subtle differences in personalities between each instrument will delight piano connoisseurs. Like composers Alkan and Moscheles, listeners will be beguiled by the unique orchestral qualities of the Erard pianos which many believed were the greatest pianos of the nineteenth century. This kind of four-handed playing handed playing has never before been captured on disc and the results are spectacular.
Associate Professor Stephanie McCallum (University of Sydney) is a French music specialist, renowned for her Alkan interpretations, and is one of Australia's foremost piano virtuosi. Dr. Erin Helyard (University of Melbourne) is an acclaimed conductor, keyboardist, and specialist in historical performance practice.
1. Meyerbeer: Le Prophète: Ouverture
2. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. I. Moderamente
3. Alkan:Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. II. Andantino
4. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. III. Allegro moderato
5. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. IV. Tempo giusto
6. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. V. Quasi adagio
7. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. VI. Andantino
8. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. VII. Alla Giudesca
9. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. VIII. Lento
10. Alkan: Neuf Préludes, Op. 66: Prélude No. IX. Agadio
11. Moscheles: Hommage à Weber, Op. 102: I. Allegro vivace
12. Moscheles: Hommage à Weber, Op. 102: II. Andantino con moto
13. Moscheles: Hommage à Weber, Op. 102: III Allegro vivace