Audiophile Audition

Married couple Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow formed their duo in 1984 and have performed worldwide – frequently creating entertaining programs from works they have dug up themselves. They have recorded a seven-CD set of all the works written by Schubert for piano four hands.

There have been several orchestral albums centered around works showing jazz influences, but theirs may be the first two-piano album devoted to jazzy-sounding works. Of course Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has been a starting point for this sort of thing ever since its creation, so Goldstone & Clemmow have selected his own two-piano version of An American in Paris – which he actually composed first and then orchestrated later. Edward Hill was educated at Harvard and studied with Widor in Paris at one point. His two-piano Jazz Studies of 1922-24 lack the blues influence heard in Gershwin, and instead make use of popular dances of the era, such as ragtime, the Turkey Trot , Black Bottom and even a rumba. One of the studies sounds much like Kurt Weill.

Darius Milhaud became nuts about American jazz when he visited Harlem in 1922. The next year he created his jazzy ballet The Creation of the World – which really presaged Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as the first major classical work with a strong jazz influence. Dave Brubeck calls it “The best jazz piece from a classical European composer.” Milhaud wrote his own piano duet version of the score, and that is the one played by Goldstone and Clemmow. Alexander Moyzes is regarded as the founder of the Slovakian school of composition. He wrote his Jazz Sonata for Two Pianos in 1932 for another two-piano duo, also showing more dance-hall influence than that of Harlem.

The other shorter works are of great interest, and the special arrangements of Star Dust and Embraceable You that close out the program are a total delight. Several of the works on this CD here receive their first recording – including the piano duet version of The Creation of the World.

—John Sunier