Every recording project has its own story! This one had its seeds planted, almost literally, amidst beautifully wild and rugged nature and serene atmosphere. In February 2012, we were privileged enough to be invited to Hill and Hollow Music, a retreat program in Saranac Valley of northern New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Performing primarily two-piano works at that time, we realized that this retreat would be the perfect setting to work intensely on building our four-hand repertoire. It is something we had been itching to do for months. With piles of music to explore in tow, we ventured out on the six-hour drive to Saranac. For a week, we shut ourselves off from the rest of the world in a beautiful cottage, with no cell phones, Internet or reminders of our daily lives.
What followed was an experience beyond our expectations, both professionally and personally. After the initial two days of reading through hours of music, the pieces that peaked our interest were not necessarily in the same style, but just as in nature, drastic differences achieve balance in mysterious and unpredictable ways. Inspired by the vastness and variety of our surroundings, we chose an unusual program: Milhaud’s satirical Le Bœuf sur le Toit, Czerny’s virtuosic and rarely performed Grand Sonata in F Minor, John Corigliano’s fantastic Gazebo Dances, and one of Schubert’s greatest masterpieces, the Fantasie in F Minor. The joyful sunrises and dramatic sunsets, roaming wildlife, the magnificent mountains and the power of a blizzard that arrived on the day of our performance, which ended our retreat, were all inspirations in compiling this record.
This truly unforgettable experience we owe to Angela Brown, Kellum Smith and their friends. These pieces will forever stay in our repertoire and will always reminds us of this incredible time that we spend at Hill and Hollow Music on the Weatherwatch Farm!
Lavrova/Primakov Duo was founded in 2010 by two Juilliard-trained pianists who began their training in Moscow. Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov are both young stars of the last generation to descend from the great Russian Conservatory tradition. They have performed extensively throughout the US and have garnered numerous critical accolades. "Like the talented and imaginative chefs they are, they work wonders with ingredients given…dazzling display by two phenomenal pianists."-Fanfare. In 2011, Lavrova and Primakov established their own record label, LP Classics, an initiative committed to unearthing lost historical gems, presenting music not previously recorded, and enriching the discographies of emerging stars of the next generation.