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Alice Sara Ott and Francesco Tristano join forces for this energetic and joyful collaboration on the stage of the international Heidelberger Frühling (Heidelberg Spring) festival, held annually since 1997 in March and April in the romantic German city. The program, entirely designed by good friends Ott and Tristano, is entitled "Scandal" in reference to the public outcry provoked by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring—indignantly called a "massacre" upon its 1913 premiere at Paris's Théâtre des Champs Élysées.
Two works by Ravel add vivid color to the evening: the famous Boléro and the "choreographic poem" La Valse, both in two-piano arrangements by Tristano. The duo also give impeccably renditions of Debussy's Nuages (Clouds) and Fêtes (Festivals), the first two of his three extraordinary Nocturnes. After Tristano's own work, A Soft-Shell Groove, the concert makes good on the promise of its name, ending with an electrifying two-piano version of Stravinsky's masterpiece, the controversy of its premiere having given way to an enduring place in the canon.