Editor’s Choice for Piano Duets: Suite From the Cloud Forest by Eric Ewazen

This is one of the finest examples of duet literature we’ve heard. Its four movements are a programmatic description of four images found in the tropical cloud forest:

Movement 1, The Resplendent Quetzel, depicts a spectacular bird of paradise with beautiful melodies over cascading arpeggios in an impressionistic style.

Movement 2, Gumbo Limbo is a fabulous variation on the 1950’s tune The Limbo. This movement is very rhythmically challenging and is truly inventive.

Movement 3, Poor Man’s Umbrella describes a plant with large floppy leaves. The melodies are hauntingly beautiful and go through a series of keys culminating in an intense series of fortissimo chords.

Movement 4, Kiskadee, describes a bird whose call sounds like its name. Kiskadee is a very fast movement in various compound meters and is so exciting. This is highly idiomatic piano writing for the piano with an impressionistic flair. This piece has universal appeal and is a major addition to the repertoire.