Following his 2016 release of Igor Stravinsky's L'Oiseau de feu with the Sinfonieorchester Basel, Dennis Russell Davies presents the 1911 ballet Pétrouchka in its original version, along with the piano four hands arrangement that was published the same year. The Basel musicians play with great attention to details, dynamics, and instrumental color, and Davies paces the work with a steady hand to insure that nothing is lost or hurried past. Because of his care, some differences between the original version and the more frequently heard 1947 revision may be easier for experienced listeners to make out. The piano four hands transcription is not as famous as Stravinsky's Three Movements from Pétrouchka for solo piano, which has become the most frequently recorded keyboard version. Davies and his wife Maki Namekawa play with incisive attacks, subtle nuances, and clean textures, and all the polyrhythms and inner lines are fully articulated, though at times the duo's precision can seem a little cautious. Even so, there's no trade-off of excitement for meticulous playing, because Davies and Namekawa are passionately involved with the music, and they convey the work's boisterousness and magic without missing a beat. Highly recommended.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Pétrouchka (Original Version from 1911), Version for Orchestra|
|Pétrouchka (Original Version from 1911), Version for Piano Four Hands|