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ODU Invencia Piano Duo Recording Praised in International Reviews

A recording of piano duos and duets by Old Dominion University faculty members Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn, released late last year, is receiving high praise in the international music community.

The first of four volumes of "Schmitt - Complete Original Works for Piano Duet and Duo" was released in October 2012, and features the works of composer Florent Schmitt (1870-1958) - an artist roundly considered to be one of the most influential French composers of his time.

Kasparov and Lutsyshyn, an associate professor and adjunct faculty member, respectively, in the ODU music department, are collectively known as the Invencia Piano Duo. The husband and wife team come from Armenian and Ukrainian families and were educated at the Moscow State Conservatory before pursuing advanced studies at Indiana University's School of Music in Bloomington. They joined the ODU faculty in 1997.

Their new recording was published by Grand Piano - a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Naxos Records, the largest classical music label in the world. The second CD in the Invencia Piano Duo's set was released in February and the third is slated for an April 30 release. The final CD is expected to be available for sale in September.

Excerpts from published accolades for "Schmitt - Complete Original Works for Piano Duet and Duo" include:

  • James Harrington, in the May 2013 issue of American Record Guide, wrote: "('Rhapsodie Parisienne') alone is worth the price of the disk - an ebullient piece bursting with energy and brilliance ..."
  • Burkhard Schäfer, in the January 2013 edition of Piano News, wrote: "Compositions, extremely intricate contrapuntally but at the same time highly inspiring and unusually sensuous in their every fiber, have the great fortune to have found the congenial masters of interpretation in the Armenian-Ukrainian Invencia Piano Duo. Rigor, levity, esprit, and the sparkling colorization - not only in "Trois rapsodies" for two pianos, but also in the remaining works for piano, four hands - are the characteristics with which the duo precisely captures the wit of these works, making it almost unbelievable that the "Sept pièces" has only now had its world-premiere recoding ... rarely has one heard piano music in such spectacularly good sound as in the case of this Schmitt recording. An outstanding production!"
  • Geoff Brown, in the BBC Music Magazine January 2013 edition, wrote: "A useful exploration of Ravel's contemporary Schmitt. The chromatic harmonies of the 'Trois Rhapsodies' are delightful ..."
  • Colin Clarke, in the January 2013 International Piano publication, wrote: "The Invencia Duo's nonchalant delivery perfectly matches the spirit of the piece ['Rhapsodie parisienne'] as they track the harmony's sweet twists and turns with exquisite precision."
  • M.D. Ridge, in the November 2012 Artsong Update, wrote: "Few pleasures can compare with hearing unfamiliar music superbly played by an extraordinary pair of musicians, the Invencia Piano Duo ... hypnotically charming, with familiar harmonic language and rhythms used in surprising ways. This very accessible recording has admirably clear, informative liner notes by Jerry E. Rife and Kasparov. Casual listeners will find Schmitt's music pleasingly attractive, while more knowledgeable listeners will find subtlety, drama and beauty in every selection."

To hear an excerpt from the CD, go to the Naxos website.

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