Estrella Piano Duo | Tales from the East

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Tales from the East

by Estrella Piano Duo

Introducing Tales from the East: stories of romance, adventure and magic by Russian composers.
Genre: Classical: Keyboard Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Petrushka: I. Dance Russe (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
2:38 $0.99
2. Petrushka: II. Chez Petrouchka (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
4:25 $0.99
3. Petrushka: III. La Semaine Grasse (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
10:05 $0.99
4. Schecherazade: IV. Festival in Bagdad (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
12:26 $0.99
5. Prince Igor, Polovetsian Dances: I. Andantino (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
2:22 $0.99
6. Prince Igor, Polovetsian Dances: II. Allegro Vivo (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
1:13 $0.99
7. Prince Igor, Polovetsian Dances: III. Allegro (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
2:08 $0.99
8. Prince Igor, Polovetsian Dances: IV. Presto (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
6:06 $0.99
9. Suite-Fantasy on Prokofiev's Cinderella (Arr. for 2 Pianos)
13:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Let us take you to a Persian palace, where Schecherazade weaves her tales for 1001 nights, to a Russian village market, where Petrushka the wooden puppet comes to life, to a camp of the Polovetsian tribe where a Russian Prince is entertained with dancing and finally to a magical castle where Cinderella meets her prince



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Anyone who thinks classical music is boring needs to check out "Tales From the East," a collection of dramatic piano duets by Russian composers performed by the EStrella Piano Duo. (If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at some of their YouTube videos!) The Duo is Svetlana Belsky and Elena Doubovitskaya, both extraordinary pianists and teachers. Dr. Belsky is Head of the Piano Department at the University of Chicago and Dr. Doubovistkaya is Chair of the Piano Department at The Merit School of Music, also in Chicago. They began performing together in 2011 with a series of concerts that celebrated the great Russian masterpieces for piano duet. They have since performed all over the US, Canada, Asia and Europe to rave reviews. This is their second album, following their 2013 debut, "Russian Masterpieces. "Both artists are also members of the award-winning multi-piano ensemble, Pianissimo!, which was established in 2014. From the liner notes of "Tales From the East": “The Duo’s repertoire includes, besides the usual favorites, many rarely-heard, fascinating works that most duos fear to touch. Their programs are always musically profound, but also virtuosic, often acrobatic, and occasionally humorous.”

Tales From the East" begins with three movements from Petrushka by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) arranged for two pianos by V. Babin. The first is “Danse russe” (Russian Dance), a a wildly energetic piece that will be familiar to most listeners from its use in other media. The second movement is “Chez Petrouchka” (Petrushka’s Room), an intricate and dazzling expression of many moods and a variety of thoughts. The third is “La semaine grasse” (The Shrovetide Fair), a 10-minute tour de force that is often playful and carefree with varying degrees of intensity. I’d love to see this one played live!

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) is represented with the epic “Festival in Bagdad” from Schecherazade. Many themes from this work will also be familiar to most listeners even if they have never studied classical music. Dramatic, intense and extremely flashy, I’d love to see this one played live, too!

The next four tracks are movements from Alexander Borodin’s (1833-87) Polovetsian Dances from Prince Igor. The first is the “Andantino,” made famous as “Stranger in Paradise” from the musical Kismet. “Allegro Vivo” is just that - a lively dance that flies all over the piano keyboard(s) with wild abandon. “Allegro” is often used in films and cartoons as a dramatic depiction of struggles against huge (if not impossible) odds. Dark and intense with an underlying sense of fun, it’s a great arrangement! “Presto” may not be quite as familiar, but overflows with joyous energy and dazzling piano technique. Themes from the “Andantino” movement are also reintroduced in a variety of variations. Awesome in the truest sense of the word!

The last track is “Suite-Fantasy on Prokofiev’s Cinderella,” an epic work at just a hair under 14 minutes. While this piece has plenty of bold, intricate passages, it also gives the EStrella Duo a chance to show their more tender, lyrical side. I have no doubt that Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) would be more than proud of this arrangement and performance of his music!

I am so excited to have been introduced to the EStrella Duo and look forward to future releases and (hopefully!!!) a chance to see them perform live! Brava!!!