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Janine Dacosta and Leen de Broekert's recording of the mature works of Schubert for four hands are joyful and spirited, with a superb sense and exactitude of ensemble. The Duo in A minor (Lebensstürme) is dramatic and breathtaking, the joint power of two pianists at one instrument creating sounds of orchestral intensity. The Fantasie in F minor is also beautifully rendered.
Within Franz Schubert’s vast output of piano duets the compositions to be heard on this recording are of unparalleled quality. For the Viennese Schubert was a beliebter Tonsetzer, a favourite composer. There was a great demand in Vienna for four-hand music of an entertaining character; polonaises, landler, variations on popular tunes. Schubert satisfied wholeheartedly to this almost insatiable appetite for biedermeier Gebrauchsmusik, music for active amateur use. The numerous works for four-hand piano printed during his lifetime were mainly published because the editors, knowing the public taste, wanted to keep their pots boiling. Although Schubert certainly did not think it beneath him to produce a continuous stream of music for the Viennese salons, he knew quite well he was marked out for what he himself called das Höchste in der Kunst, ‘the Highest in Art’. In 1828, the last year of his life, the composer tried to contact some editors in Germany who were aiming at ‘the highest in art’. The works to be heard on this disc must be placed in this context. In the first half of the year 1828 Schubert finished three masterworks for four-hand piano that can be classed as ‘the highest in Art’.
Janine Dacosta first studied piano in her birthplace Bordeaux with Joseph Thibaud. After obtaining the premier prix at the Bordeaux conservatory she studied at the Conservatoire National in Paris with Lazare Lévy and, after graduation, with Yves Nat, also in Paris. She also studied with Ilonka Deckers in Milan. In Paris 1951 she won at the Concours International Marguérite Long-Jacques Thibaud the first prize, the Premier Grand Prix, Since then Janine Dacosta has been heard innumerable times, in the concert hall as well as on radio and television. She worked with multiple famous conductors. She has also been active in the field of chamber music.
Leen de Broekert (1949-2009) studied Piano and Organ at the Royal Academy of Music in The Hague. He graduated in both subjects. He also qualified as a harpsichord player and fortepianist with Jos van Immerseel. In 1979 he was one of the laureates of the International Contest for Organ in Bruges, with an honourable citation for his Interpretation of Bach. As a fortepianist and organist he was frequently asked for concerts in Germany as well as in Holland. He also performed in England, France, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Italy and Switzerland and recorded several CDs both on pianoforte and organ. Leen de Broekert was the organist of the Koorkerk (Abbey church) in Middelburg. He died, at the age of sixty, after a short illness, in Middelburg on 29 July 2009.
PIANO JOURNAL Dacosta and De Broekert's recording of the mature works of Schubert for four hands are joyful and spirited, with a superb sense and exactitude of ensemble. The Duo in A minor (Lebensstürme) was dramatic and breathtaking, the joint power of two pianists at one instrument creating sounds of orchestral intensity. The Fantasie in F minor was also beautifully rendered. Tau Wey
read the full reviewPIANO JOURNAL - dramatic and breathtaking
PZC Quatre mains played with feeling. Ruben Oreel
read the full article (Dutch)