Mozart, Schubert, Bizet, Choveaux - Kravos, Kravos
Ars Produktion ARS 38 756
Classical - Chamber
Works by Mozart, Schubert, Bizet, Choveaux
Zala Kravos & Val Kravos (piano duet)
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Review by Adrian Quanjer - November 7, 2022
Zala is back with a second ARS release. This time playing duets with her brother Val. It may be noted that there are two types of piano duets: Two players on two pianos and two players on the same piano, called piano duet for four hands or more prosaically ‘à quatre mains’. The latter is the case here. Provided that they are equally talented, family members usually make for a perfect duet. Like Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart from Austria, and, more recently, Lucas and Arthur Jussen from The Netherlands (none of it available in Super Audio). It is the ultimate proof of two minds in one setting, culminating in musical togetherness.
Aged only 15, Zala’s solo debut for ARS Produktion Piano - Zala, was already “filled to the brim with ample and ripe fruit for a promising career”. International recognition followed suit at an incredibly rapid pace. Val’s talent is new to me. All I can say is that I could not make out who was playing which part. From the moment I heard their reading of Schubert’s Fantasia in F minor, I knew that two souls were playing like one at a level that only the very best can hope to match. This performance has all the right emotional strands, encompassing the maturity of a lived life full of hope, schmerz, and longing, whilst facing its inescapable end.
Mozart’s Sonata KV 381 (no other recording available in high definition, and only a few elsewhere) with which the recital opens, is a masterly example of youthful exuberance of a totally different character. Playful some of it is, it can be completely spoiled by less-gifted pianists, hammering the keys away like an old-fashioned typewriter. But I’ve heard the Jussen Brothers do it in concert in a smooth performance that is hard to beat. Zala and Val do it differently and at times full of enthusiasm like two high-spirited puppies having fun. Maybe the way young Amadeus and his sister would have done.
Bizet’s Children’s Games face no real competition. It is, therefore, a welcome addition to the Hi-Res catalogue. Much to my delight, the Kravas duo has turned these ‘Jeux d’enfants’ into a sparkling bouquet full of unexpected surprises and hazardous games (by the sound of it).
The recital ends with a dedication. Françoise Choveaux dedicated a short Poem Op. 269 to Zala and Val, and it is, of course, fully justified that this piece full of charm and passion concludes a wonderful programme with Schubert being the absolute summit.
The piano sound is exemplary.
Blangy-le-Château, Normandy, France
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