Through much of history, most people never heard orchestral works played by full orchestras. They heard small “salon” orchestras play “highlights” or they heard piano duo versions. The Planets is well-suited for two pianos, having been thoughtfully arranged that way by its composer, Gustav Holst. The beauty of the two-piano arrangement is that the musical structures become readily transparent. While it can be hard to hear the individual parts in a huge orchestra [plus a chorus section], a two-piano version lets you hear the interplay of the parts without a wash of echo. It’s such a beautiful piece, and the duo here are perfectly synchronized… in a way no orchestra could ever quite be!

—Bryan A.