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Michel Fleury
Classica, March 2014

As in the preceding volumes, technical perfection, synchronicity, collaboration as well as warm and sonorous timbre result in an interpretation as perfect as the music itself. © 2014 Classica

Phillip Scott
Fanfare, March 2014

Every piece is well crafted, and played with sensitivity by pianists Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn…

…the Invencia Duo make the best possible case for Schmitt’s music and are warmly and clearly recorded, so if you are collecting this series do not hesitate. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

Dan Morgan
MusicWeb International, November 2013

The stork may be a-weary but there’s absolutely no sign of lassitude in Kasparov and Lutsyshyn’s playing, which is always alert to small changes of mood and manner. As with the very best duos these musicians sound as one. Just sample the lilting circularity of La ronde des lettres boiteuses (The Round of the Lame Letters), in which their unanimity of purpose and execution is just astonishing. And for the most subtle of dynamic shifts La promenade a travers le tableau (The Walk through the Painting) is hard to beat. As for the particoloured writing of the umbrella-turned-Chinese-bowl - Le parapluie chinois - it’s superbly rendered by this duo, whose bursts of brio are always judiciously phrased and scaled.

Collectors who already have the first three instalments in the series should not hesitate to acquire this one, and those who have faltered thus far should waste no time and follow suit. There is much pleasure to be found here, not least in this engaging and characterful playing. Decent liner-notes and a fine recording add to the irresistible charm of this release.

Music of quality, stylishly played; surprisingly moreish, too. © MusicWeb International Read complete review

MusicWeb International, October 2013

Invencia’s Azerbaijan-born Andrey Kasparov and Ukrainian Oksana Lutsyshyn, both music professors at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, are armchair-comfortable with the relatively easy-going demands of these works. Years of practise and performing together has led them to a point where they breathe the same breaths and think the same thoughts, making their four-handed musical dispatches the epitome of eloquent refinement and warmth.

For this recital they save the best to last. Une Semaine du Petit Elfe Ferme-l’Oeil is not unlike Musiques Foraines (‘Carnival Music’) from the previous volume, with Schmitt again using apparently light-hearted fairy-tale subjects—marrying mice, a doll, gimpy alphabet letters, a Chinese umbrella and the like—to offer up a weft of enchanting harmonies, rhythmic diversity and sparkling melody in pregnant detail.

Audio has been consistently good throughout the series… © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2013

The last in a four disc series that has taken us on a pleasing journey through the piano duets of Florent Schmitt, adding to our knowledge of a neglected composer. Born and educated in France, his career began as a contemporary of Debussy and Ravel, though he shared little in their French Impressionist style. He was to travel extensively and collected many influences including the exotic styles of the Far East. The six short Humoresques are proof of this cosmopolitan style, though he remained wedded to tonality and did not embrace the radical changes that were sweeping across Europe in the first decade of the 20th century. The Lied et Scherzo was completed in the previous year, 1910, and written for double wind quintet and one can here only imagine the piquant sounds that version generates. Three very brief Trois pieces recreatives lead to the disc’s major work, Une Semaine du Petite Elfe Ferme-l’oeil ou Les Songes de Hialmar (A Week in the Life of the Little Elf Shut-Eye or The Dreams of Hialmar), a long title that will in itself ensure it is seldom scheduled in concerts. It is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy-tale, Ole Lukoie. Though they are children’s stories, they became musical pictures for adults but in a very light mood. Schmitt’s influences come from Rimsky-Korsakov who is ever-present in the thematic content and tonal colours. As I have commented previously, I am deeply grateful to the American-based Invencia Piano Duo (Andrey Kasparov, Oksana Lutsyshyn), their playing well-attuned to a French idiom. Technically there is nothing here to stretch their resources, but they do play with considerable affection towards the music. A most realistic sound quality. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

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