BARON & NAVARRO PIANO DUO

FRENCH MUSIC FOR PIANO DUO

FRENCH MUSIC FOR PIANO DUO


Claude Debussy, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Camille Saint-Saƫns

BARON & NAVARRO PIANO DUO
Michael Baron and Priscila Navarro

[MS1732]

$14.95

REVIEWS
"[This performance of Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite] is notable for the precision of dynamics, especially when those beautiful melodic lines are passed between pianists either building or declining volume. One follows the other perfectly. This disc has both good recorded piano sound and an interesting booklet essay. Outside of the Ravel, a number of selections are not heard in these versions very often. That makes for an essential recording for lovers of French music for piano duo."
Harrington, American Record Guide [May/June 2022]
"Priscila Navarro is a phenomenal talent. Together with her duo-piano partner in these recordings, Michael Baron, they get to the essence of what is so intriguing about the music of four French composers. And it isn’t any pixie-dust about some vague “French mystique,” either. This is music of real substance, and the duo-piano medium, with the pianists seated at separate pianos that are usually positioned so that they face one another in a way that facilitates the vital communication between artists, also helps them to realize the symphonic quality that is a feature of so much duo-piano music... The present performance by Baron and Navarro brings out the vibrant tone colors and moods in Debussy’s music to say nothing of its quivering sensuality, more satisfactorily, to my mind, than either the symphonic or solo piano versions we are used to hearing."
Phil Music, Atlanta Audio Club [March 2022]
PROGRAM NOTES
From at least the time of Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig Johann Krebs, Giovanni Pergolesi and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, works for multiple keyboards have attracted composers, performers and audiences – no more than in the 19th century when Franz Liszt and others brought immense attention to ensemble playing. The early 20th century saw the popularity of two-piano teams expand in Europe and America. Radio and recordings abetted the rise of audiences eager to hear the duos Appleton & Field, Bartlett & Robertson, Ferrante & Teicher, Gold & Fizdale, Labeque sisters, Luboshutz & Nemenoff, Pierce & Jonas, Vronsky & Babin and Whittemore & Lowe – prominent among the many. Each ensemble’s tours featured works such as the ones presented here.


The Baron & Navarro Piano Duo performs a wide range of music for Two Pianos and Piano–Four-Hands with electric energy and melting lyricism to critical acclaim. Formed in 2013, they have been praised for their technical brilliance and innovative programming.

An award-winning concert pianist, Michael Baron performs more than 40 concerts a year, including annual tours of Europe and South America and engagements throughout the United States and Asia. Equally at home as a recitalist, a chamber musician and a soloist with orchestra, Baron commands a diverse repertoire, ranging from Baroque compositions to world premieres of contemporary pieces. A Steinway Artist, his virtuosity and musicianship regularly garner the highest critical acclaim. Also a distinguished educator, he has presented master classes and workshops at schools, festivals and universities throughout the world and regularly serves as a jurist at regional, national and international piano competitions. He studied with Earl Wild, Orazio Frugoni, Howard Karp, and Renato Premezzi. Baron received his doctorate in piano performance from The Ohio State University. He serves as the Myra and Van Williams Distinguished Professor of Music and Head of Keyboard Studies at the Bower School of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is also Honorary Professor of Music at Yantai University and Hubei University in the People’s Republic of China.

Peruvian-born pianist Priscila Navarro is the first prize winner of several  competitions, including the Liszt-Garritson International Competition in Maryland, Beethoven Sonata Competition in Tennessee, Chopin International Competition of Texas, Artist Series of Florida and the Imola City Awards in Italy. Navarro received a Special Prize for her performance of music by J.S. Bach at the International City of Vigo Competition in Spain, where she was a finalist out of 400 participants, with a jury presided over by Martha Argerich. As a chamber musician, she regularly performs with a variety of musicians. Navarro, who began music studies at age 9 at the National Conservatory of Peru, earned her DMA in piano performance and pedagogy at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where she also completed Masters and Artist Diploma degrees. She graduated from Florida GulfCoast University, studying under Michael Baron. Navarro is a passionate  pedagogue, being a jury member at numerous international competitions, including the Chopin International Competition for Latin American pianists and the Heida Hermann International Competition. She is currently the artistic director of the First Parnassus of the International Competition Music.
 
PROGRAM
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921)
VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF BEETHOVEN, OP.35 (1874)
 
DANSE MACABRE, OP.40 (1874)
Adapted for two pianos by the composer
 
CLAUDE DEBUSSY (1862-1918)
PRÉLUDE À L'APRÈS-MIDI D'UN FAUNE (1894)
Adapted for two pianos by Maurice Ravel
 
FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963)
CONCERTO IN D MINOR FOR 2 PIANOS (1932)
Adapted for two pianos by the composer
I.          Allegro ma non troppo
II.          Larghetto
III.         Allegro molto
 
MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
MA MÈRE L'OYE – 5 PIÈCES ENFANTINES (1911)
Adapted for two pianos by the composer
I.          Pavane de la Belle au bois dormant
II.          Petit Poucet: Très modéré
III.         Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes
IV.        Les entretiens de la Belle et de la Bête
V.         Le jardin féerique


Recorded 20-22 August 2021 in the Tobe Recital Hall, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida. A Candlewood Digital Natural Presence Recording: Produced, engineered, edited and mastered by Richard Price. Steinway D pianos; Piano technician: Prospero Rodriguez.
 



MSR Classics