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Peter J. Rabinowitz
Fanfare, November 2011

…this is easygoing music that cajoles the ears…

The performances are appropriate to the music’s softness of spirit. Adrienne Soós and Ivo Haag…have a fine sense of the music’s graciousness and sweet lyricism…these performances would be well worth hearing…

…warmly recommended.

James Harrington
American Record Guide, September 2011

Debussy’s piano music for four hands, whether at one or two pianos, has come my way for review with increasing regularity; and a number of these works can be considered mainstream repertoire for piano duo teams. I have also admired previous discs by the excellent Swiss duo piano team of Soos and Hagg. They have made somewhat of a specialty of finding obscure works (Moscheles & Weber, Hungaroton 32492, Nov/Dec 2008; Honegger & Messiaen, Guild 7331, May/June 2010) and then giving us great performances that have made me wonder why the repertoire is not better known. Such is the case here. These are all works for two pianists at one piano, composed in the 1880s (Debussy’s late teens and early 20s). Most are projected orchestral works that were never orchestrated: Symphony in B minor, Intermezzo, Divertissement, Overture Diane, Le Triomphe de Bacchus. Two are duet versions of orchestral works (L’enfant Prodigue excerpts and Printemps).

The youthful energy and excitement to these virtuoso works is perfectly realized by Soos and Haag. Duets were a favorite pastime of the young Debussy, especially in his years in Italy. He often programmed them in his concerts and was unquestionably a great pianist. Soos and Haag have been a team for over 15 years and have recorded much of this music before (in 1995, Pan 510 076, not reviewed). I have not heard that release, but, given all of the superb qualities of the new recording (2009), I can only hope for more Debussy from this duo.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2011

‘Early Works for Piano Duet’ brings together manuscripts that Debussy never orchestrated and works he adapted from his orchestral scores. He was probably around eighteen when he began work on a Symphony of which two movements were discovered long after his death. There are no signs of orchestral thoughts and they last little more than sixteen minutes, the andante cantabile sounding anything but an andante. From that same year came another work, the sparkling and vivacious Overture Diane that also failed to received its intended orchestration. Still before he was twenty he had embarked on a suite, Le triomphe de Bacchus, but only completed two movements and two fragments, the second of those a most enjoyable piece. More good intentions came with the Intermezzo, but that too got no further than a piano duo version. Divertissement probably dates from his twenty-second year, its four sections one of the finest scores of his early years. We then come to Debussy’s piano duo adaptations, a format he used so as to perform his music to audiences out of reach of orchestras. L’enfant prodigue was his winning entry in the 1884 Prix de Rome; Printemps, which opens the disc, dates from 1887 and now forms part of his standard orchestral repertoire. The performances from the long-established Swiss duo of Adrienne Soos and Ivo Haag are highly desirable, the outstanding clarity of their playing enhanced by one off the most beautiful piano duo recordings I have ever heard. It comes from the Swiss radio station, DRS 2. Most strongly recommended.

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