Le Monde (France) - October 2020
"The Franco-Russian duo never stops climbing musical summits. The proud honesty of tone, the rigour of inspiration, no less than the tireless ductility of the material that their two keyboards with four hands joined together model fantastically..."
Classica (France) - September 2020
"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..." ★★★★★
Homme Deluxe Magazine (France) - May 2020
"A magical CD recorded by these two artists with an unparalleled musicality, dedicated to british music (...) a delight of freshness, virtuosity and panache, the osmosis between Ludmila and Arthur is total, absolute. I'm buying !"
American Record Guide (USA) - March 2020
"This is one of the most enjoyable collections of music that is new to me to come my way in a long time. (...) This took me by surprise : a wonderful duo piano team with great imagination."
Fanfare (USA) - February 2020
"None of the pieces could have more enthusiastic or accomplished advocates than Ludmilla Berlinskaya and her frequent partner, the French pianist Arthur Ancelle. In addition to their superb techniques, they play with a bracing combination of refined musicality and panache, making this one of the most rewarding two-piano collections in years."
Musical Life Magazine (Russia) - February 2020
"The Berlinskaya-Ancelle piano duo, founded in 2011, is now rightly appreciated all over the world. It is perhaps already impossible to imagine them "separated", outside of this unique ensemble that sounds like a whole, demonstrating not only a "sense of elbow", but a true creative unity. If you consider that Ludmila Berlinskaya and Arthur Ancelle each have a pronounced performing personality, then such a complete dissolution of each other in the name of music can only arouse both surprise and admiration. The duo really impresses with its extraordinary purity of sound, rare even for a virtuoso - can you imagine in an ensemble ! (...) And finally, a masterfully perfected improvisation - a paradoxical formulation to characterize the Berlinskaya-Ancelle duo's interpretation of Bennett's "Entertainment for Two Pianos", a four-piece suite in jazz style. To say the truth, the album "'B' like Britain" will leave no one indifferent and will certainly convert new fans to the Franco-Russian duo."
Fanfare (USA) - February 2020
"The first, Hardanger, might seem to speak of an understandable impulse to leave Streatham for Norway, but is actually an homage to Grieg, one of Bax’s musical heroes. The sense of the dance is beautifully conveyed by Ancelle and Berlinskaya. Far more atmospheric is The Poisoned Fountain, and this is a luxurious, beautiful performance. (...)
The piano music of Britten is both under-represented and under-appreciated, so it is good to see the two pieces of his op. 23 here. The first, the “Introduction and Rondo burlesca,” is a magnificent piece, powerful in its intrinsic mastery of understatement. The performance is masterly, particularly in the faster, swirling, phantasmagoric passages. (...) Berlinskaya and Ancelle have a perfect grasp of Britten’s sound world.
The last work for piano duet by York Bowen, the Theme and Variations, is a magnificent, monumental piece. It seems to encompass worlds, and these performers present it like a slowly rotating kaleidoscope. The penultimate section, a Lento, is beautifully, suspensefully, managed before the splendid virtuosity of the finale. (...)
The recording is superb, a model of clarity and placement. We hear every detail the players want to foreground. Far cheaper than, and arguably preferable to, a transatlantic ticket, this is a warm-hearted tribute to the Scepter’d Isle by a Russian and a French pianist."
The Arts Desk (UK) - January 2020
"The big moments have terrific impact (check out the bell sounds in the mazurka), each chord impeccably balanced. (...) You have to marvel at a Russian-French piano duo exhuming such neglected repertoire, and performing it with such authority and affection."
Artamag' (France) - December 2019
"Ludmila Berlinskaya and Arthur Ancelle choose the Second Suite and play it very Russian, deep into the keyboards, savouring the popular hues of the Alla Marcia, singing with a somewhat nostalgic fantasy the cantabile sections of the Waltz (which they play swift like Vronsky and Babin, but with a darker sound, a matter of touch), and leading the Romance like a ballet number."
Artamag' (France) - December 2019
"A hair-raising journey that began in Arnold Bax's landscapes of moors and legends with three magical opuses (The Poisoned Fountain is fascinating, another ravelian Ondine, as it were), continued in Britten's fancy way throughout the two parts of his Opus 23, before the unknown masterpiece of the vast Theme and Variations by York Bowen, visionary composer and concert artist of genius, the English Busoni no less. Op. 139 (1951) is his final work for two pianos, lyrical, intense, superbly written to make the instruments sound like one world."
Gramophone (UK) - December 2019
"York Bowen’s Theme and Variations (1951) is a revelation and, arguably, the best-written piece here. Whereas the others you can imagine in orchestral garbs, this is piano qua piano. Berlinskaya and Ancelle play the theme, its nine variations and ‘interlude’ superbly – and their dispatch of the exhilarating con fuoco finale will give you goosebumps. Their ensemble and sensitive phrasing throughout the disc are remarkable. Here, they are outstanding."
Libération (France) - December 2019
Libération's favorite albums of the year :
"Year after year, from record to record, these two have become the most brilliant stars on the firmament of original and explosive piano duos. (...) B Like Britain, a compilation of pieces by 20th-century British composers whose surnames start with B (Arnold Bax, Benjamin Britten, York Bowen, Richard Rodney Bennett), is a CD that will leave you flabbergasted"
Concertonet.com (France) - December 2019
"Adding a wonderful sense of understatement to their customary technical and artistic qualities, the two pianists magnify this often delicious music."
Musicweb-international (UK) - November 2019
"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."
Fanfare (USA) - November 2019
Peter J. Rabinowitz
This exceptional wife-husband team made a strong impression with a Saint-Saëns/Liszt program earlier this year and they’re even more impressive on this new release, titled Russian Last Romantics. Vitality is the key ingredient here—a vitality created through sharp articulation, crisp rhythms (with especially punchy treatment of syncopations), lucid textures, confident technical dexterity, a clear sense of the music’s throughline, and (most of all) an evident delight in both the music and the act of performance. (...)
Conclusion? You’re unlikely to come across a more committed reading of the Glazunov than this one; and the Medtner makes a significant contribution to its still-sparse representation in the catalog. As for the Rachmaninoff: This is much more contested repertoire, and Berlinskaya and Ancelle doesn’t manage to wrest first place from Argerich/Freire and Ashkenazy/Previn; still, they hold their own against the rest of the competition. (...) Worth your attention.
Pizzicato (Luxemburg) - October 2019
"Without exception, we hear technically superior interpretations that are also musically convincing, since Ancelle and Berlinskaya characterize the music perfectly. (...) And so this is an inspiring CD that can only be recommended."
American Record Guide (USA) - September/October 2019
"This is a great collection of Russian two-piano music, expertly played. (...) Berlinskaya and Ancelle have impressed me before, here their abilities shine even brighter. Booklet notes are good, sound is great, and the performance are first class"
Fanfare (USA) - July/August 2019
"The standard of pianism, from both of our intrepid protagonists, is very much of the highest echelon (...) In this flawless performance, much of the more reflective writing emerges with a sort of amplified luminosity. The two pianists play as one, matching their tones expertly and with a unanimity of attack that borders on the supernatural; they have an equal aptitude for prestidigitation, too. (...) A most splendid disc, recorded at demonstration quality. Berlinskaya and Ancelle leave us wanting more. One for the Want List, methinks"
Diapason (France) - July 2019
"Following on from their previous recordings, Arthur Ancelle and Ludmila Berlinskaya approach these works with clarity and panache, doing justice to the slightest changes in climate, avoiding both the pitfalls of thick pathos as much as those of unambiguous brilliance."
Resmusica (France) - June 2019
"Nikolai Medtner's Two Pieces Op. 58, composed in exile in London during the Second World War, find here their reference version (...) Under the duo's expert fingers, the finesse of the polyphonic work unravels the most complex sound strings with an exacerbation of the colours of both keyboards. (...) to be acquired as a priority."