(FMP CD 30)
An engrossing piano duet from two masters of the instrument. Recorded over three days at the 1990 Free Music Workshop in Berlin, this performance is spellbinding in its vitality, and in the variety of approaches used. From the near-silent first segment, which finds the two women plumbing the insides of their pianos, to the shades of stride that Schweizer drops into the mix later on, this is as wide-ranging and thrilling a duo as you're likely to hear, whatever the format.
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"One of the essential piano recordings of the decade. Two classically informed kindred spirits command the entire instrument (including a distinctive use of the strings) and perform with uncanny grace and urgency." -- Coda
"The two are perfectly in tune with each other and the music ebbs and builds as each player intuitively responds to the dynamic transitions. An essential recording." --Michael Rosenstein, Cadence
"[T]his disk...overall eschews safety nets for nervy sensitive interaction – a clear and articulate intertwining of voices that truly sounds like one 4-handed (and 4-footed as regards the pedal work and the stomping) pianist." --Milo Fine, Cadence
"Crispell and Schweizer are easily distinguished; often the latter creates showers of stained glass chords that seem to hang in the listener’s mind while the former might rumble up from the bass like an erupting volcano. Sometimes the sheer power of it all pins you, open mouthed and white-knuckled, to your seat." --The Wire
"At the end of the set, one is left exhausted and breathless, satisfied and literally amazed. There is only one problem: There isn't another record to play after this." -- All Music Guide, 5 stars
Penguin Guide: 4 stars
released June 12, 1991
All music by Marilyn Crispell & Irène Schweizer
Marilyn Crispell: piano
Irène Schweizer: piano
Recorded live by Holger Scheuermann and Jost Gebers on June 28th to 30th, 1990, during the Workshop Freie Musik at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
Mixed by Jost Gebers.
Mastered by Jonas Bergler/Olaf Rupp.
Produced by Jost Gebers