Russian Last Romantics
Melodiya, 2019

Russian Last Romantics
Second volume of the « 2-pianos originals project »

Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951)
Two Pieces for two pianos, Op. 58

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
Suite No. 2 for two pianos, Op. 17

Alexander Glazunov (1865–1936)
Fantasy for two pianos in F minor, Op. 104

Ludmila Berlinskaya, Arthur Ancelle - pianos

Recorded in the Grand Hall of Moscow Philharmony 2
Sound Engineer : Maria Soboleva

The anecdote : Rachmaninoff’s second suite for 2 pianos is the first piece written by the composer after a long depression, four years during which he couldn’t write a single note. This depression came after the unsuccess of his 1st symphony, which was poorly conducted on its premiere by… Alexander Glazunov. The Suite n°2 for two pianos was written simultaneously with Rachmaninoff’s second piano concerto, probably his most famous piece.

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.

Diapason (France) - July 2019

Jérôme Bastianelli

"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."

Libération (France) - April 2019

Guillaume Tion

"Arthur Ancelle and Ludmila Berlinskaya are on fire once again (...) These two complement each other perfectly and find step by step a common path where they flourish in mirror. »