OnClassical | OC23036B | 2022

Brahms, J.: Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 & Waltzes Op. 39
Duo Degas, Piano 4-Hands

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Total duration: 74:04
Original audio @ 88.2 kHz * 24 bits


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Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dances, WoO 1" and "Waltzes Op. 39" for Piano 4-Hands offer a captivating journey into the world of 19th-century European music. Brahms, a German composer with a deep appreciation for folk traditions, drew inspiration from Hungarian and Austrian dances to create these lively and enchanting compositions.
The Hungarian Dances, originally composed for piano four hands, were later orchestrated by Brahms, becoming immensely popular and contributing to his international fame. These dances are a testament to Brahms' fascination with folk music, particularly the vibrant and rhythmic Hungarian dance forms.
The Waltzes, Op. 39, composed shortly after the Hungarian Dances, showcase Brahms' brilliance in crafting elegant and melodic piano pieces. Written in the style of the traditional Viennese waltz, these compositions highlight Brahms' ability to balance sophistication with a touch of folk-inspired charm.
Brahms' decision to write for piano four hands in these works was not only practical but also tied to the 19th-century tradition of home music-making. During this era, before the advent of recorded music, families and friends often gathered to play music together, making piano four-hands compositions a popular choice for social entertainment.
This recording brings to life the dynamic interplay between Martina Tabakova and Zornitsa Ilarionova, as they navigate the intricate passages and expressive nuances of Brahms' compositions. Their collaboration adds a contemporary touch to these timeless pieces, connecting the listener to the rich cultural tapestry of the 19th century while infusing the music with fresh vitality.
Brahms' Hungarian Dances and Waltzes have endured the test of time, becoming staples in the piano repertoire. Their infectious melodies and rhythmic energy continue to captivate audiences, and this recording pays homage to the enduring legacy of Brahms' contribution to the world of classical music.
In revisiting these masterpieces, the performers not only showcase their technical prowess but also breathe new life into Brahms' exploration of diverse musical traditions. The recording invites listeners to experience the joy and cultural richness embedded in these compositions, offering a delightful and immersive musical journey.
Formed in 2014 during their studies at the International Piano Academy in Imola, Duo Degas, comprising Gala Chistiakova and Diego Benocci, brings together the talents of Italian pianist Benocci, an acclaimed soloist and chamber musician, and Russian prizewinner Chistiakova. Now residing in Tuscany, they co-direct the "Recondite Armonie" International Festivals and "Young Musicians of the World" Cultural Exchange Projects. Since 2022, they have served as artistic directors for the IMOC festival and masterclasses in Grosseto. With an extensive repertoire, they've performed across Europe, including notable venues like the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and the Weston Recital Hall in Oxford. Their collaboration as a duo with symphony and chamber orchestras has garnered success at international festivals, and their debut CD, featuring Tchaikovsky's music, was released in 2021 by OnClassical. Recognized for their artistry, they recently secured the 1st prize at the XXXI International Piano Competition "Roma."

Hungarian Dances, WoO 1 & Waltzes Op. 39
Duo Degas, Piano 4-Hands

Prod. No.: 360 / 2022
Cat. No: OC23036B
UPC: 685071726792
No. Album(s): 1

Recorded @ Saletta acustica 'Eric James', Pove del Grappa, 2022

Sound engineer: Alessandro Simonetto
Photo/paint on cover: N/A
Artwork: OnClassical

Equipment used: N/A
Instrument(s) used: Steinway & Sohns D-274 piano, 'Audi-O'

An OnClassical prod., © 2022

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