Concertonet

I don’t know what I expected when I began to listen to this CD but I admit that, as each track went by, I was more and more impressed. “Two pianos, four hands” – the phrase brings back memories of recitals, agonizing thoughts of “Will I be the one to mess up?” Put those ideas away, because this is the fusion of two excellent individual pianists who work so well together that they truly do play as one. In the first cut, the balance was off ever so slightly so that one piano overshadowed the other, but that one tiny flaw aside, this is a CD that you actually want to listen to over and over again.

It’s easy to see how even the four of the nine featured composers who had no Spanish roots were seduced by the powerful lure of the exotic music. Does all of the music of the country have its origins in the southern province of Andalusia? Of course not, but this disc satisfies the cravings we have for Gypsy dances where castanets and clicking heels drive the beat until it ends abruptly, leaving all breathless. Ms.Clemmow and Mr.Goldstone play with delicacy, subtlety in phrasing and crispness where needed, their accelerations smooth with no urgency. Even old standards such as Malagueña and the Scena e canto gitano from the Capriccio espagnol sound fresh and new.

The engineering gives the impression of smaller instruments in a more intimate setting, which only enhances the lush feeling of this CD. While you could play it as background music for a cocktail or dinner party, you’ll want to sit down with your headphones on and experience how really wonderful this disc is.

—Suzanne Torrey