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**** "Dances for Two Pianos: Music by Rachmaninoff and Ravel. Earl Wild and Christian Steiner, piano (Ivory Classics).

June 21, 1998|Daniel Cariaga

From the new, piano-rich Ivory Classics label comes a 30-year old memento of a short but brilliant partnership, the duo-pianism of the veteran Earl Wild and the highly accomplished, Berlin-born Christian Steiner, then as now more visible as a celebrity photographer than as a perfect pianistic match to Wild's virtuosity. Together, Wild/Steiner create elegant, probing and poetic music out of Rachmaninoff's popular Waltz from the Suite No. 2, the same composer's demanding Symphonic Dances and Ravel's kaleidoscopic "La Valse." As beauteous as is all the playing, it is grounded in the most thorough and transparent musicality.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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