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Michael Cookson
MusicWeb International, July 2016

STRAVINSKY, I.: Sacre du printemps (Le) (version for orchestra / version for piano 4 hands) (Basel Symphony, D.R. Davies, Maki Namekawa) SOB06
STRAVINSKY, I: Firebird (original orchestral version and arr. for 2 pianos) (Basel Symphony, D.R. Davies, Maki Namekawa) SOB10
STRAVINSKY, I.: Petrushka (version for orchestra / version for piano 4 hands) (Basel Symphony, D.R. Davies, Maki Namekawa) SOB11

Playing Stravinsky’s three Russian ballets in the versions for piano four hands, Davies and Maki Namekawa demonstrate real empathy with the composer’s colourfully rhythmic sound world. Throughout, the duo bring out ample freshness with playing that is crisp and well focused with only occasional strains on overall unity. © 2016 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Peter Burwasser
Fanfare, March 2015

Dennis Russell Davies presents the orchestral score in an almost self-consciously restrained manner… This honest and precise presentation is refreshing and even enlightening, because you actually hear more of the music, especially in terms of texture and rhythm. …the ensemble does itself proud, with crack virtuosity and focused tone.

The performance of the composer’s piano-four hands version is similarly elegant and lucid. Davies and his regular partner in two-piano literature since 2005, Maki Namekawa, are beautifully matched. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review



Rob Cowan
Gramophone, January 2015

Davies seems acutely aware of The Rite’s harmonic language and nowhere is this more obvious than at the end of the work […] in the very pianistic piano duo version…the partnership with Maki Namekawa works particularly well. Fascinating…and, what’s more important, utterly new. © 2015 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Roger Hecht
American Record Guide, January 2015

The orchestral performance…is straightforward, vertical, very clear, and with strong downbeats. The orchestra is well suited to this kind of performance and plays very well. There is something compelling about it, and I like it more every time I hear it.

The performance by Davies and Namekawa is extraordinary. Like the orchestral one, it is powerful and in its way…it is extremely dramatic and involving. © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, October 2014

This [release]…gets closer to the subtitle of the work Scenes from pagan Russia than anything I’ve experienced before. This is an orchestra that through the vision of its conductor genuinely knows and understands the music…every note is perfectly represented as it should be with a real feeling of ensemble playing at its best. It is quite simply a fabulous performance that is difficult to imagine being bettered and it must surely become a benchmark recording that will remain so for a long time into the future.

[In the piano duet]…conductor Dennis Russell Davies and his wife, pianist Maki Namekawa…[give] the score their all in a powerfully impactful performance.

This is an altogether important release that Stravinsky fans will find a must-have as soon as they hear it. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Infodad.com, October 2014

Hearing excellent performances of the two versions on a new CD on the Sinfonieorchester Basel’s own label is revelatory. Dennis Russell Davies…brings both technical and expository skill to the work in its two forms. Davies conducts the orchestra with care and a sure hand, letting the music flow and build naturally in a structure that even today sounds revolutionary…The piano-four-hands version…is subtler as well as being more stripped-down. This is a very fine release that provides genuine insight into a seminal work not only of modern ballet but also of 20th-century music as a whole. © 2014 Infodad.com Read complete review




Remy Franck
Pizzicato, September 2014

With much transparency and careful articulations Dennis Russell Davies gives two phenomenally interesting accounts of Stravinsky’s ‘Le Sacre du Printemps’, one with the truly excellent Basel Symphony Orchestra and the other with his wife at the piano. © 2014 Pizzicato





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