New Classics

The internationally renowned Anthony Goldstone and Caroline Clemmow formed their piano duo in 1984 and have given many two-piano and piano-duet recitals as well as double concertos, taking in major festivals in Europe and the USA. Their concert repertoire mixes well-known masterpieces and rarities, often including first hearings of unjustly neglected works, and their recordings (approaching forty in number) include many world premières.

On this hugely enjoyable CD, the acclaimed British duo play American (and American influenced) piano music from the Jazz Age, which in turn was inspired by a collection of short stories published in 1922 by F. Scott Fitzgerald under the title Tales of the Jazz Age. The Great War was over and, despite political turmoil, brutal racial repression and Prohibition, Americans managed to throw caution to the winds and enjoy themselves until the Great Depression struck in 1929. ‘The jazz age’ is now taken to refer to this ‘anything goes’ period, during which jazz flourished and many new popular dance crazes popped up and were frequently displaced equally suddenly. The Charleston and the Fox Trot have endured, but others included such animal inspirations as the Kangaroo Hop, Grizzly Bear, Bunny Hug and Horse Trot.

The music here includes Gershwin’s own two-piano version of An American in Paris and Embraceable You (arranged by Percy Grainger for piano duet) and Darius Milhaud’s La Création du Monde, as well as works by Edward Burlingame Hill, Hungarian-born Alexander Moyzes and Mátyás Seiber (who wrote jazz works for John Dankworth), and Hoagy Carmichael’s classic Stardust.