Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan

Prokofiev for Two

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AllMusic Review by James Manheim

It's Martha Argerich who is named first in the billing here and who has the star power. But really this album is more the product of Armenian pianist Sergei Babayan, a longtime friend of the great Argentine. Babayan wrote the two-piano arrangements of pieces from Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, and other operatic and theatrical works of Prokofiev, and in places he seems to set the tone, although the overall mood is one of a spirited and fun exchange. Babayan's arrangements are detailed and evocative of the full orchestra, while at the same time setting the framework for a good deal of rhythmic zip. Sample one of the familiar Romeo and Juliet pieces, like the Dance of the Knights for an idea. The short selections from other works contain some lesser-known items like the Idée fixe from Prokofiev's music for a film of Pushkin's The Queen of Spades. Deutsche Grammophon contributes clear sound from Bavaria's Schloss Elmau, and the end result is both a fresh perspective on these mostly well-worn Prokofiev melodies and a great deal of fun.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
12 Movements From Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64
1 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:41 Amazon
2 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 03:39 Amazon
3 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:40 Amazon
4 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:27 Amazon
5 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 03:38 Amazon
6 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 00:47 Amazon
7 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 03:57 Amazon
8 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 02:12 Amazon
9 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 02:18 Amazon
10 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:44 Amazon
11 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 08:06 Amazon
12 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 04:13 Amazon
Incidental Music to Hamlet, Op. 77
13 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 05:36 Amazon
Incidental Music to Eugene Onegin, Op. 71
14 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:26 Amazon
15 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 01:32 Amazon
The Queen of Spades, Op. 70
16 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 02:21 Amazon
Pushkin Waltz in C sharp minor Op. 120
17 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 02:57 Amazon
War and Peace, Op. 91
18 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 04:54 Amazon
The Queen of Spades, Op. 70
19 Martha Argerich / Sergei Babayan 05:54 Amazon
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