Forget Rimsky for orchestra!! Just grab a copy of this new piano duet disc by Goldstone and Clemmow which combines a 1990 recording of Scheherazade, Opus 35 (still very greatly admired) and the Neapolitan Song Op 63 with a brand new world première recording of the symphonic suite Antar, Opus 9, otherwise known as Rimsky’s Symphony number 2. This transcription for piano duet of a suite every bit as exotic as Rimsky’s better known Scheherazade is by the composer’s wife, Nadezhda Purgold, and the work weaves the romantic, myth-enhanced story in four movements of the real Antara ibn Shaddad, a sixth-century warrior-poet greatly admired for his bravery.

No holds are barred throughout these performances and husband and wife team Tony and Caroline combine to give us a most exciting journey through pieces we may have come to think of only as works for orchestra. Rimsky-Korsakov made this four hand version of Scheherazade himself and about Antar he wrote “My Antar was a poem, suite, fairy tale, story or anything you like but not a symphony”. Add to this Rimsky’s rollicking version of Funiculi-Funiculà and you can rest assured you will not fail to enjoy this disc, which reveals its splendid recording qualities as captured by Divine Art.

—Arthur Francis