Four Hands for France (2021) TOCN0007 Stephanie McCallum and Erin Helyard on an 1853 Erard piano

Playing four-hands piano was both vital in the dissemination of music in the nineteenth century and also a popular domestic activity. The French composers recorded here span the Romantic century, from the salon charm of Chaminade and Massenet and the virtuosity of Alkan’s wild dance to the innocence of the family music-room in pieces by Chausson, Godard and Ropartz. The original 1853 Parisian Erard piano on which this recording was made combines warmth with bell-like clarity, because of its straight stringing, allowing it to produce a surprising variety of appealing, expressive textures.

'The only word for the performances of Stephanie McCallum and Erin Helyard is “perfection”...In terms of musicianship, coordination of performance, and sympathy for the repertoire, this recording is a stand-out and I can easily imagine the composers themselves applauding it if they were here today.' Music Web International Jan 5, 2022 William Kreindler

Chausson: Sonatines pour quatre mains, Op. 2, No. 1 in G major, No. 2 in D minor

Ropartz: Petites Pièces (1903)*No. 1 Andante, No. 2 Lento, No. 3 Allegretto, No. 4 L’Angelus, No. 5 Le Glas, No. 6 Cloches du Soir No. 7 Choral, No. 8 Tristesse, No. 9 Intimité, No. 10 Par les Champs

Massenet: Pièces pour le Piano à 4 Mains: 1re Suite, Op. 11

Alkan: Saltarelle, Op. 47

Chaminade: selection from Pièces romantiques, Op. 55

Godard: Deux morceaux, Op. 137