Gramophone

This intriguing disc of “unauthorised piano duos” forms a sequel to Goldstone’s three double-CD albums entitled “Schubert: The Piano Masterpieces” [sic – should be “masterworks”] and a seven-CD cycle of all Schubert’s piano duets given with his wife Caroline Clemmow. The starting point for this exotic journey was the discovery of an 1829 duet version of the Trout Quintet made by Josef Czerný. Here, and elsewhere, Goldstone and Clemmow play with such unflagging brio and style that they almost conjure away your memory of the original, evergreen score.

It also says much for their artistry and commitment that they can even make Hugo Ulrich’s setting of the Adagio from the C minor String Quintet convincing, a near sacrilegious undertaking as Goldstone modestly tells in his informative booklet note. Lighter offerings include his own realisation of the B flat Polonaise and Poldini’s elaboration of the E flat Impromptu with its cunning entwining of its parts and mischievous quote from the with its cunning entwining of its parts and mischievous quote from the Wanderer Fantasie for good measure.

Josef Hüttenbrenner’s arrangement of the Rosamunde Overture is another unlikely success and if Prokofiev’s setting of Schubert Waltzes is sometimes dour and heavy-footed that is hardly the fault of the pianists. For Goldstone and Clemmow, Schubert is a composer “especially dear” to their hearts, and this shines out of all their performances. An invaluable disc, then for all musical explorers and for those happy to sample unusual tributes to “the most poetic of composers” (Lizst).

—Bryce Morrison