The premiere of Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps is legendary. It caused a full-blown scandal in Paris in 1913 even though the previous year the composer had participated in the premiere of the piano duo version of this epochal work.
Here the Trenkner-Speidel Piano Duo presents the version for piano four hands. Even years later Claude Debussy wrote that the memory of this premiere was like “a beautiful nightmare.” He supplied the second pair of hands during its performance, and from that time forth his admiration for his colleague, who was twenty years his junior, went over into boundless enthusiasm.
The reduction to piano sound renders audible horizontal melody particles with unprecedented clarity – the Sacre cannot be experienced with greater transparency.
Also on this recording, the Beethoven Orchester Bonn conducted by Stefan Blunier offer the fascinating comparative opportunities given by the performance of the later orchestral version.