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B like Britain
Melodiya, 2019
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B like Britain
Third volume of the « 2-pianos originals project »

Arnold Bax (1883–1953)
Hardanger (1927) - The Poisoned Fountain (1928) - Moy Mell (1916)

Benjamin Britten (1913–1976)
Two Pieces, Op. 23

York Bowen (1884–1961)
Theme and variations for two pianos, Op. 139

Richard Rodney Bennett (1936–2012)
Divertimento for two pianos (1974)

Ludmila Berlinskaya, Arthur Ancelle - pianos

Recorded at the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory
Sound engineer – Maria Soboleva

The anecdote : if the previous recordings had stylistic consistency (Belle Epoque, Russian Last Romantics), here the album is bound by the letter "B" - nonetheless,  it still has that deceiving coldness, that humour, that detachment along with that energy, truly British characteristics that run like a golden thread through the whole album.
Bax and Britten wrote their works for 2 pianos for the famous piano duo of English pianists Ethel Bartlett and Rae Robertson.

Classica (France) - September 2020

Jérémie Cahen

"Disc after disc, the technically outstanding dialogue that began nearly ten years ago within the Ancelle-Berlinskaya couple seems to be becoming ever more refined. Miracles of undulating fluidity, Bax's Poisoned Fountain and Moy Mell are reminiscent of a dreamlike universe à la Debussy, while the performers approach them without committing the slightest sin of mannerism. What is striking throughout this program is the consistency of the sound, the extraordinary malleability of the material obtained by means of two pianos and twenty fingers..." ★★★★★

Libération (France) - December 2019

Guillaume Tion

Libération's favorite albums of the year :
"Year after year, from record to record, these two become the stars of the original and explosive piano duets. (...) B Like Britain, which compiles pieces by 20th-century composers whose initials stand for a B (Arnold Bax, Benjamin Britten, York Bowen, Richard Rodney Bennett), is listened to with gawping ears."

Musicweb-international (UK) - November 2019

Nick Barnard

"All four composers were very considerable concert-standard pianists in their own right; this is reflected in the brilliance of their keyboard writing and the high level of virtuosity it demands. In this regard Berlinskaya and Ancelle are quite superb. The unanimity of their playing is flawless not just technically but expressively. (...)
But it is musically where this disc triumphs, with breathtaking interpretations of all the repertoire on offer – the familiar and the less so. A strong Record of the Year contender."
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