It is interesting that of the nine composers featured in this recital four had no Spanish roots. The “exotic” nature of Spanish music - especially that of Andalusia in the south with its Moorish history and Gypsy culture - has irresistibly drawn non-Spanish composers.
It is an intriguing fact that the musical phrase that has surely been heard most often in history is taken from Tárrega’s charming Gran Vals, dating from around 1902. It was chosen by Nokia in 1993 to be the ring tone on its mobile telephones, and as such it has been heard billions of times. The phrase occurs 14 seconds into this recording, which is of a lightly elaborated four-hand arrangement made specially to provide the present recital with a whimsical encore – and again is the first recording in this form.
This disc, like the majority of recordings from Goldstone & Clemmow features numerous pieces which are new to the repertoire.
With CDs around forty in number and a busy concert schedule stretching back more than a quarter of a century, the British piano duo Goldstone and Clemmow is firmly established as a leading force. Described by Gramophone as ‘a dazzling husband and wife team’, by International Record Review as ‘a British institution in the best sense of the word’, and by The Herald, Glasgow, as ‘the UK’s pre-eminent two-piano team’, internationally known artists Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow formed their duo in 1984 and married in 1989. Their extremely diverse activities in two-piano and piano-duet recitals and double concertos, taking in major festivals, have sent them all over the British Isles as well as to Europe, the Middle East and several times to the U.S.A., where they have received standing ovations and such press accolades as ‘revelations such as this are rare in the concert hall these days’ (Charleston Post and Courier). In their refreshingly presented concerts they mix famous masterpieces and fascinating rarities, which they frequently unearth themselves, into absorbing and hugely entertaining programmes; their numerous BBC broadcasts have often included first hearings of unjustly neglected works, and their equally enterprising and acclaimed commercial recordings include many world premières.
“whether in authentic Spain or clever pastiche, they make you wonder why the Spanish repertoire and its offshoots aren't more eagerly embraced by virtually every musician...all these performance are never less than richly experienced and musicianly, and Divine Art's sound is admirably clear, leaving you to wonder what this admirable duo still have up their sleeves and in their fingers.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2011
“This is an aptly named CD. The programme...is obviously intended to instil, above all, a sense of delight in the listener...There is abundant colour in their pianism too; try the shimmering timbres one minute into the first movement of Nights in the Garden of Spain and ask yourself if the piano is truly a black-and-white instrument, both inside and out.” International Record Review, February 2012