Mark Anderson and Tamriko Siprashvili are a husband and wife two-piano team from Pleasanton, CA, who released this as their first recording. Why is anybody's guess. This is not to say that Anderson and Siprashvili are not fine pianists separately and together: clearly each is a virtuoso and they play together with a combination of sensitivity and individuality that only the best two-piano teams have ever achieved. The question, though, is why this particular recording? Even when played with the power and passion that Anderson and Siprashvili bring to it is there a need for a recording of Stravinsky's transcription of his Le sacra du printemps, an arrangement the composer made for rehearsal purposes, when the work itself was conceived and executed for full orchestra with gargantuan percussion section. And even when played with the force and flexibility that Anderson and Siprashvili bring to it is there a need for a recording of Tim Seddon's two-piano transcription of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, an arrangement that Seddon intended to add more weight of sound to the piece plus make the "technically fiendish writing in the original slightly easier," when the original is the greatest solo piano work ever composed by a Russian. Probably not. As fine as these performances are -- and they are very fine with plenty of virtuosity and a lovely burnished tone -- there are several dozen orchestral recordings of Le sacra that are more representative of the work and there is Sviatoslav Richter's unsurpassed 1958 recording of Pictures that is one of the absolute peaks of piano recordings. One looks forward to more recordings by Anderson and Siprashvili, but hopefully they choose more congenial repertoire.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), ballet in 2 parts for piano, 4 hands|
|Pictures at an Exhibition (Kartinki s vïstavski), for piano|