"...Grand Piano has impressed me with a number of releases recently. Excellent recorded sound and perceptive booklet notes have become expected. Based on this recording, the duo’s previous records, and reviews of their concert performances, GP has found an exceptional pair of musicians. Schmitt’s extensive oeuvre for two pianists could have no better musicians, and I eagerly await the remaining three volumes in this series."
James Harrington - American Record Guide - May/June 2013
*** - Good disc
Michel Fleury - Classica magazine - May 2013
"...This disc is the first of four volumes and many premiere recordings of Schmitt’s genial music for piano duo and duet ... This is also Invencia’s debut for Grand Piano. Invencia are Azerbaijan-born Andrey Kasparov, also a composer, and professor of composition and piano at Old Dominion University in Norfolk; and Ukrainian Oksana Lutsyshyn, who also teaches piano and music theory at ODU. They play together with impeccable timing and elegance, not to mention considerable virtuosity, as this recital demonstrates..."
Byzantion - MusicWeb-International.com - May 2013
"[Rhapsodie Parisienne] alone is worth the price of the disc—an ebullient piece bursting with energy and brilliance, I’m sure it has become a staple of Invencia’s concert repertoire. Their performance here is on two pianos owing to the intricate and complex nature of the work. Given the end result, you’ll get no objection from me. This is my second review of these marvelous musicians. Grand Piano has impressed me with a number of releases recently. Excellent recorded sound and perceptive booklet notes have become expected. Based on this recording, the duo’s previous records, and reviews of their concert performances, GP has found an exceptional pair of musicians. Schmitt’s extensive oeuvre for two pianists could have no better musicians, and I eagerly await the remaining three volumes in this series."
James Harrington - American Record Guide - May 2013
"Volume One offers a familiar work followed by two world premiere recordings. The first item, the Trois Rapsodies for two pianos Op.53 (1903–1904), receives its fifth recording on disc. It is vintage Schmitt, rhythmically supple, harmonically inventive, and beautifully scored with telling thematic interchanges between the two pianos. The earlier Sept Pièces, Op.15 (1889) dates from Schmitt’s student days. Scored for two pianists at a single piano, the sonorities are more intimate and homophonic. Though it seems to me that Schmitt has either not quite found or is intentionally suppressing his distinctive creative voice here for academic reasons, this low-key, Schumann-esque multi-movement work is winningly genial and technically assured in every respect. The final item, the Rhapsodie Parisienne, also for four-hand piano, makes a stronger visceral impact. A spirited, asymmetric and impulsive waltz, the manuscript of this unpublished work from 1900 may have been intended to become a larger orchestral work presaging Ravel’s later La Valse. I look forward to future unknown gems from this very interesting composer."
Daniel Foley - The WholeNote - January 2013
"Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) always remained an outsider even in his native France, and therefore it is not surprising that the composer—multifaceted, active, but very difficult to classify—could not make name for himself, the name that he duly deserved in the rest of Europe. At the same time, this remarkable CD clearly demonstrates that he may be put on the equal level with the great compatriots in his profession: Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Satie, to mention just a few.These compositions, extremely intricate contrapuntally but at the same time highly inspiring and unusually sensuous in their every fiber, have the great fortune to have found the congenial masters of interpretation in the Armenian-Ukrainian Invencia Piano Duo. Rigor, levity, esprit, and the sparkling colorization—not only in “Trois rapsodies” for two pianos, but also in the remaining works for piano, four hands—are the characteristics with which the duo precisely captures the wit of these works, making it almost unbelievable that the “Sept pièces” has only now had its world-premiere recoding. One may argue about the artwork on the front cover of this CD, as well as the entire Grand Piano series, but certainly not about the sound quality, because rarely has one heard piano music in such spectacularly good sound as in the case of this Schmitt recording. An outstanding production!"
– Translated with the help of Frederick Lubich
Burkhard Schäfer - Piano News -January 2013
"...A useful exploration of Ravel’s contemporary Schmitt. The chromatic harmonies of the Trois Rhapsodies are delightful ..."
Geoff Brown - BBC Music Magazine - January 2013
"Few pleasures can compare with hearing unfamiliar music superbly played by an extraordinary pair of musicians, the Invencia Piano Duo ...hypnotically charming, with familiar harmonic language and rhythms used in surprising ways. This very accessible recording has admirably clear, informative liner notes by Jerry E Rife and Kasparov. Casual listeners will find Schmitt’s music pleasingly attractive, while more knowledgeable listeners will find subtlety, drama and beauty in every selection."
M D Ridge - Artsong Update - November 2012
"...The Invencia Duo’s nonchalant delivery perfectly matches the spirit of the piece [Rhapsodie parisienne] as they track the harmony’s sweet twists and turns with exquisite precision..."
Colin Clarke - International Piano - January 2013
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