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Phil Muse
Audio Video Club of Atlanta, June 2013

French pianists Armengaud and Chauzu…give colorful, invigorating performances of four choice works of Claude Debussy for [four-hand piano].

…the rich repertoire of four-hand piano music is well worth hearing for its own delightful sake.

In Petite Suite, ostinatos, washes of color, and deftly struck accents against the musical line add to the color and rhythmic excitement of the first and second movements…while Menuet rings with echoes of the 18th century and rhythms of a subtly Spanish flavor. The concluding movement, Ballet, is alive with a vigorous Waltz…bringing things to a scintillating conclusion.

The rousing and ingeniously varied Marche ecossaise…is likewise easy for the first-time listener to like.

The surprise here is Debussy’s Premiere Suite d’orchestre…it is so full of color, life, and expressive warmth and rhythm that we should expect to hear recordings of the orchestral version in the future. © 2013 Audio Video Club of Atlanta Read complete review

Dave Billinge
MusicWeb International, May 2013

This is a highly realistic-sounding recording of a piano four-hands recital…

The two pianists…display a high degree of togetherness…this is a fine set of performances and mostly very well recorded indeed. The notes by Gérald Hugon are detailed and well structured—and translated into elegant English by Susannah Howe. We have grown to expect such quality from Naxos, another star to them. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2013

Strange how music by great composers can become ‘lost’, the four hand version of Debussy’s highly enjoyable Premiere Suite d’orchestra only resurfacing in 2008. It is here released with much better known companions, the charming Petite Suite having the composer playing one of the parts in the first performance in 1889. It was to become a popular concert work in an orchestration by Henri Busser. Whether this version of the Marche ecossaise was a ‘work in progress’ manuscript for the commissioned orchestral score is possible, but it is highly effective in this format. The Six Epigraphes antiques were certainly intended for piano duo, and was to some extent a reworking of music once written as incidental music for a play. Maybe the inspiration was music of times long past, but the outcome is engagingly modern and very much from the Debussy school of composition. The Premiere Suite d’orchestre offers a very substantial score of almost half an hour, and dates back to the composer’s early twenties. As the title indicates it was intended for orchestra, but the third movement has not been found in that format. The two pianists, Jean-Pierre Armengaud and Olivier Chauzu exchange places with each playing first piano in two of the works. As soloists they enjoy major concert careers, and the clarity of their playing is admirable. We have become too used to thinking of Debussy’s music as a wash of sound, their more staccato approach taking one unawares, though it does much to reveal the music’s inner detail. The recorded sound also plays a role in this clarity, for as a clean-cut piano sound this disc is outstanding. An unusual programme much commended. © David’s Review Corner

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