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Sonata for two pianos in D Major, K. 448/375a | Fantasie for piano four hands in F Minor, D. 940

Piano Duo Scholtes & Janssens

Sonata for two pianos in D Major, K. 448/375a | Fantasie for piano four hands in F Minor, D. 940

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Challenge Classics
UPC: 0608917284829
Catnr: CC 72848
Release date: 21 January 2021
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Label
Challenge Classics
UPC
0608917284829
Catalogue number
CC 72848
Release date
21 January 2021

"The coupling of Schubert's Fantasy in F minor with Mozart's Sonata for two pianos in D major immediately evokes the memory of the disographic milestone left by Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia (Sony, 1984). However, Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens deliver a personal and very convincing version of these two works."

Diapason, 01-7-2021
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Artist(s)
Composer(s)
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About the album

Scholtes & Janssens: We were just 18 and 19 years old when we first ventured to play Mozart's Sonata for two pianos. We'd only been playing together for a year at the time. Schubert's Fantasy in F followed shortly afterwards. Now, 17 years on, we're finally brave enough to record these two iconic works. Over recent years, these two works have taken on the role of critical teachers, sources of inspiration and motivation for us to keep on developing, as a duo certainly, but also and mainly as individual musicians. We've been challenged by legendary recordings made by the likes of Radu Lupu & Murray Perahia, Josef & Rosina Lhevinne, and father and son Neuhaus to discover our own sound, both in this music and elsewhere.
From the beginning seventeen years ago, we have been forced to face up to the fact that a good duo doesn't just happen when you put two good pianists together, and certainly not in Mozart or Schubert. Every note that's slightly misplaced, every chord that's not properly balanced can tarnish the performance. And every phrase when you don't breathe together. We gradually became more and more convinced that piano duo players have to be soloists, chamber musicians and an orchestra at the same time. As a duo, our aim is to have the freedom and virtuosity of a soloist, the ear and connectivity of a chamber musician and the tonal palette and nuanced subtlety of a symphony orchestra.
Het jonge pianoduo Scholtes & Janssens is perfect op elkaar ingespeeld. Dat is duidelijk hoorbaar op hun debuutalbum met meesterwerken van Mozart en Schubert. De pianisten Lestari Scholtes en Gwylim Janssens werkten een jaar samen toen ze voor het eerst - pas 18 en 19 jaar oud - de sonate van Mozart voor twee piano’s speelden. Kort daarna gevolgd door Schuberts ontroerende Fantasie in F. Het duo: "Nu, 17 jaar later, zijn we eindelijk dapper genoeg om deze twee iconische werken op te nemen.”

Dit prachtige album is het resultaat van jarenlang hard werken met de liefde voor deze grootse werken voor ogen. Vanaf het begin van hun samenwerking waren Lestari Scholtes en Gwylim Janssens ervan doordrongen dat een goed duo niet zomaar ontstaat als je twee toppianisten bij elkaar zet, en zeker niet bij Mozart of Schubert. Als je niet samen ademt, iedere noot niet spat gelijk is en niet ieder akkoord in balans is, verstoort het de uitvoering.

Een pianoduo bestaat eigenlijk uit twee virtuoze solisten die, zoals kamermusici, samenspelen en het kleurenpalet van een orkest hebben. De werken van Mozart en Schubert hielpen het duo daarbij. Van Mozarts bijna symfonische en energieke Allegro con spirito in de sonate voor twee piano’s tot de intieme en mooie openingsfrase van Schuberts Fantasie in F mineur. De werken fungeerden als kritische docenten, inspiratiebronnen en de motivatie om zich te blijven ontwikkelen, zeker als duo, maar ook en vooral als individuele musici.

Lestari Scholtes (1984) en Gwylim Janssens (1985) vormen sinds 2003 een pianoduo. Ze worden gezien als een van de meest vooraanstaande pianoduo’s van hun generatie. De pers schreef over hen: “het hadden net zo goed 25 of 30 vingers kunnen zijn, zo groots en samengesmolten was hun klank. Subliem duo in topvorm”. Het duo won nationale en internationale concoursen voor pianoduo en kamermuziek, o.a. het prestigieuze Vriendenkrans Concours van het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, IBLA Grand Prize, Concours Musical de France, het Internationaal Kamermuziekconcours Almere en werd uitgeroepen tot Talent van het Jaar 2010 door Radio 4. Lestari en Gwylim zijn juryleden bij verschillende (inter)nationale concoursen. Ze gaven masterclasses aan conservatoria en muziekacademies over de hele wereld. In 2013 richtte het duo het Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam op, een van de toonaangevende festivals ter wereld die zich uitsluitend toelegt op het genre pianoduo.


Scholtes & Janssens: Wir waren gerade 18 und 19 Jahre alt, als wir uns zum ersten Mal an Mozarts Sonate für zwei Klaviere wagten. Damals spielten wir erst seit einem Jahr zusammen. Kurz darauf folgte Schuberts Fantasie in F. Jetzt, 17 Jahre später, sind wir endlich mutig genug, diese beiden ikonischen Werke aufzunehmen. In den letzten Jahren haben diese beiden Werke die Rolle von kritischen Lehrern übernommen, Quellen der Inspiration und Motivation für uns, uns weiter zu entwickeln, als Duo sicherlich, aber auch und vor allem als einzelne Musiker. Legendäre Aufnahmen von Radu Lupu & Murray Perahia, Josef & Rosina Lhevinne und Vater und Sohn Neuhaus haben uns herausgefordert, unseren eigenen Klang zu entdecken, sowohl in dieser Musik als auch anderswo.
Seit den Anfängen vor siebzehn Jahren waren wir gezwungen, uns der Tatsache zu stellen, dass ein gutes Duo nicht nur dann entsteht, wenn man zwei gute Pianisten zusammenbringt, und schon gar nicht bei Mozart oder Schubert. Jede Note, die leicht deplaziert ist, jeder Akkord, der nicht richtig ausbalanciert ist, kann die Darbietung verfälschen. Und jede Phrase, wenn man nicht zusammen atmet, kann die Aufführung trüben. Wir wurden allmählich immer mehr davon überzeugt, dass Klavierduospieler gleichzeitig Solisten, Kammermusiker und ein Orchester sein müssen. Als Duo wollen wir die Freiheit und Virtuosität eines Solisten, das Ohr und die Konnektivität eines Kammermusikers und die klangliche Palette und nuancierte Subtilität eines Symphonieorchesters haben.


Artist(s)

Lestari Scholtes (piano)

'If you listen to these two young people play music, you think that everything in the world will be all right' - Menachem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio.   “They were absolutely fantastic! I was so impressed, what a phenomenal duo, bravo.” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet.   Lestari Scholtes (1984) and  Gwylim Janssens (1985) formed their piano duo in 2003. They are acclaimed as one of the most valued piano duos of their generation, and leading piano duo from the Netherlands. Their 2009 Carnegie Hall debut was praised as ‘it could well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so big and well integrated was the sound. Terrific duo in top form'. In May 2012 Lestari & Gwylim returned to Carnegie Hall receiving great critics by audience and press....
more
"If you listen to these two young people play music, you think that everything in the world will be all right" - Menachem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio.
“They were absolutely fantastic! I was so impressed, what a phenomenal duo, bravo.” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Lestari Scholtes (1984) and Gwylim Janssens (1985) formed their piano duo in 2003. They are acclaimed as one of the most valued piano duos of their generation, and leading piano duo from the Netherlands. Their 2009 Carnegie Hall debut was praised as ‘it could well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so big and well integrated was the sound. Terrific duo in top form'. In May 2012 Lestari & Gwylim returned to Carnegie Hall receiving great critics by audience and press. The American press about their performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka: “Superb teamwork – two as one – with excellent, turn-on-a-dime transitions between episodes”.
Scholtes & Janssens performed extensively in over 30 countries, among which in many European countries, the USA, Netherlands Antilles, Dubai, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Chile, Bolivia, Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, China and Japan. Their performances have been broadcast by radio and television in multiple countries, among others Dutch Radio4, BBC3, Belgian Klara Radio and Israeli Kol Hamusica. Festivals include e.g. the Festival of Bath, TonLagen-Dresdner Festival der zeitgenössischen Musik, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Braunlage Maikonzerte, Basilica Festival of Flanders, Klevische Klaviersommer, Almere Chamber Music Festival, Festival Classique The Hague, Tengiz Amirejibi International Music Festival and the International Piano Duo Festival Poland. The duo performed with many orchestras, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Residence Orchestra, Brabants Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam and re:orchestra.
The duo won national and international competitions for piano duo and chamber music, among others the prestigious Vriendenkrans Competition of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, IBLA Grand Prize, Concours Musical de France, the International Chamber Music Competition Almere, etc. and was acclaimed Talent of the Year 2010 by Dutch national Radio4. Lestari and Gwylim are jury members at several (inter)national competition. They gave master classes at conservatoires and music academies all over the world.
In 2013, the duo founded the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam, one of the leading festivals in the world solely dedicated to the genre of piano duo. The festival, still run artistically and produced by the duo, takes place in the historic city center of Amsterdam. Since 2016, the duo hosts a second festival, the annual Kamermuziek Festival Schoorl (Schoorl Chamber Music Festival) in the north-west of The Netherlands.
As a duo they studied with the piano duo Sivan Silver & Gil Garburg at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover, Germany. As a soloist, Lestari studied with Jan Wijn at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Gwylim studied at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam with Bart van de Roer. The duo met in the Young Talent Department of the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg where they both studied under tutorage of Ton Demmers. Together they have taken many master classes with e.g. Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Tamir, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Victor Derevianko, Alon Goldstein, Peter Takács, Paul Lewis and Menahem Pressler. In November 2010 they released their debut CD with works by Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel, under the label of QuattroLive. In May 2014 their second cd ‘Paris!’ was released at Etcetera Records, receiving great critics by press and audience. Their third cd is planned for release in the beginning 2021 with Challenge Records International.

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Gwylim Janssens (piano)

'If you listen to these two young people play music, you think that everything in the world will be all right' - Menachem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio.   “They were absolutely fantastic! I was so impressed, what a phenomenal duo, bravo.” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet.   Lestari Scholtes (1984) and  Gwylim Janssens (1985) formed their piano duo in 2003. They are acclaimed as one of the most valued piano duos of their generation, and leading piano duo from the Netherlands. Their 2009 Carnegie Hall debut was praised as ‘it could well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so big and well integrated was the sound. Terrific duo in top form'. In May 2012 Lestari & Gwylim returned to Carnegie Hall receiving great critics by audience and press....
more
"If you listen to these two young people play music, you think that everything in the world will be all right" - Menachem Pressler, Beaux Arts Trio.
“They were absolutely fantastic! I was so impressed, what a phenomenal duo, bravo.” – Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Lestari Scholtes (1984) and Gwylim Janssens (1985) formed their piano duo in 2003. They are acclaimed as one of the most valued piano duos of their generation, and leading piano duo from the Netherlands. Their 2009 Carnegie Hall debut was praised as ‘it could well have been 25 or 30 fingers, so big and well integrated was the sound. Terrific duo in top form'. In May 2012 Lestari & Gwylim returned to Carnegie Hall receiving great critics by audience and press. The American press about their performance of Stravinsky’s Petrushka: “Superb teamwork – two as one – with excellent, turn-on-a-dime transitions between episodes”.
Scholtes & Janssens performed extensively in over 30 countries, among which in many European countries, the USA, Netherlands Antilles, Dubai, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Chile, Bolivia, Mongolia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, China and Japan. Their performances have been broadcast by radio and television in multiple countries, among others Dutch Radio4, BBC3, Belgian Klara Radio and Israeli Kol Hamusica. Festivals include e.g. the Festival of Bath, TonLagen-Dresdner Festival der zeitgenössischen Musik, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Braunlage Maikonzerte, Basilica Festival of Flanders, Klevische Klaviersommer, Almere Chamber Music Festival, Festival Classique The Hague, Tengiz Amirejibi International Music Festival and the International Piano Duo Festival Poland. The duo performed with many orchestras, including the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Residence Orchestra, Brabants Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam and re:orchestra.
The duo won national and international competitions for piano duo and chamber music, among others the prestigious Vriendenkrans Competition of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, IBLA Grand Prize, Concours Musical de France, the International Chamber Music Competition Almere, etc. and was acclaimed Talent of the Year 2010 by Dutch national Radio4. Lestari and Gwylim are jury members at several (inter)national competition. They gave master classes at conservatoires and music academies all over the world.
In 2013, the duo founded the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam, one of the leading festivals in the world solely dedicated to the genre of piano duo. The festival, still run artistically and produced by the duo, takes place in the historic city center of Amsterdam. Since 2016, the duo hosts a second festival, the annual Kamermuziek Festival Schoorl (Schoorl Chamber Music Festival) in the north-west of The Netherlands.
As a duo they studied with the piano duo Sivan Silver & Gil Garburg at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover, Germany. As a soloist, Lestari studied with Jan Wijn at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Gwylim studied at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam with Bart van de Roer. The duo met in the Young Talent Department of the Fontys Conservatory in Tilburg where they both studied under tutorage of Ton Demmers. Together they have taken many master classes with e.g. Nikolai Petrov, Alexander Tamir, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Victor Derevianko, Alon Goldstein, Peter Takács, Paul Lewis and Menahem Pressler. In November 2010 they released their debut CD with works by Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel, under the label of QuattroLive. In May 2014 their second cd ‘Paris!’ was released at Etcetera Records, receiving great critics by press and audience. Their third cd is planned for release in the beginning 2021 with Challenge Records International.

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Composer(s)

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Schubert already died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the...
more
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Schubert already died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal works (mainly Lieder), seven complete symphonies, sacred music, operas, incidental music and a large body of chamber and piano music. Appreciation of his music while he was alive was limited to a relatively small circle of admirers in Vienna, but interest in his work increased significantly in the decades following his death. Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms and other 19th-century composers discovered and championed his works. Today, Schubert is ranked among the greatest composers of the late Classical and early Romantic eras and is one of the most frequently performed composers of the early nineteenth century.
It was in the genre of the Lied that Schubert made his most indelible mark. Prior to Schubert's influence, Lieder tended toward a strophic, syllabic treatment of text, evoking the folksong qualities engendered by the stirrings of Romantic nationalism. Schubert expanded the potentialities of the genre like no other composer before.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School.  At 17, Mozart was engaged as...
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.


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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.  Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.  
more

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.


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György Kurtág

The musical language of the 20th-century Hungarian composer and pianist György Kurtág refers on the one hand to the spontaneity of Bartók and on the other hand to the concentration of Webern. Kurtágs time in Paris in 1957-1958 was of vital importance to the origin of this language. There he studied with Messiaen and Milhaud, he examined and copied the works of Webern, and he received therapy from the psychologist Marianne Stein, who helped him recover from his depression and stimulated his creativity. The first composition he wrote after his return to Budapest, the String Quartet, was his first work in his own style, which he regarded as his Opus 1. In the 1980’s Kurtág gained international recognition for the first...
more
The musical language of the 20th-century Hungarian composer and pianist György Kurtág refers on the one hand to the spontaneity of Bartók and on the other hand to the concentration of Webern. Kurtágs time in Paris in 1957-1958 was of vital importance to the origin of this language. There he studied with Messiaen and Milhaud, he examined and copied the works of Webern, and he received therapy from the psychologist Marianne Stein, who helped him recover from his depression and stimulated his creativity. The first composition he wrote after his return to Budapest, the String Quartet, was his first work in his own style, which he regarded as his Opus 1.
In the 1980’s Kurtág gained international recognition for the first time with his Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova, and his creativity increased, which resulted in several international commissions. Since the 1990’s Kurtág has frequently worked abroad. He was amongst others composer in residence at the Berlin Philharmonic and lived a few years in Paris, where he collaborated with the Ensemble InterContemporain.
Next to his activities as a composer and pianist, Kurtág taught piano and chamber music at the Ferenc Liszt Academy from 1967 until 1993, which led him to write short pedagogical piano works, collected in the still ongoing compendium Játékok (Games), which consists of nine volumes at the moment. Kurtág and his wife Márta regularly perform a selection of pieces from this collection.

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Press

The coupling of Schubert's Fantasy in F minor with Mozart's Sonata for two pianos in D major immediately evokes the memory of the disographic milestone left by Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia (Sony, 1984). However, Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens deliver a personal and very convincing version of these two works.
Diapason, 01-7-2021

If you wish to explore compositions for two pianists this is the place to start. If you have 100 discs of 2-piano music, the playing here will jump into the best of them and is well worth getting.
American Record Guide, 01-7-2021

They breathe together, agree on relative dynamics and tonal colour and understand the balance of the textures.
BBC Music Magazine, 01-4-2021

I have been pleasantly surprised by how soon I was sold on these performances by Piano Duo Scholtes & Janssens. These recordings can certainly live side by side in any collection, and I have a feeling the newer version might easily end up getting more airplay.
Music web, 29-3-2021

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Videos

Piano Duo Scholtes & Janssens - Mozart - Sonata for two pianos K.448/375a - Andante
Piano Duo Scholtes & Janssens - Mozart - Sonata for two pianos K.448/375a - Andante
Scholtes & Janssens - The secret of being a strong duo

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