London Piano Festival Saturday 8th October, 7.00pm
Tonight’s concert brings together a wonderful group of pianist friends and colleagues to explore the riches, complexities and joys of music for two pianos.
The works chosen are almost exclusively from the 20th Century and include two French orchestral masterpieces in their initial, pianistically-revealing versions. A number of rarities are present including the extraordinary Fantasia Contrappuntistica by Busoni, a true homage to the works of JS Bach and a piece greatly admired and recorded by Alfred Brendel at the beginning of his career.
Rachmaninoff’s early Suite No. 1 is, by turns, hauntingly Russian, quasi Wagnerian and strikingly minimalist in its evocation of ecstatic passion, obsessional grief and the clangorous sounds of Orthodox Easter festivities.
The third part of the concert is designed to add a fun, extended encore-like atmosphere to the proceedings with Nico Muhly’s Fast Patterns, receiving its World Premiere. This will be followed by the Roaring Twenties excitement of Milhaud’s Le Boeuf sur le Toit, a selection of sultry Piazzola Tangos and will finish with the evergreen melodies of Gershwin’s opera Porgy & Bess recreated for two pianos by the Australian virtuoso Percy Grainger.
Busoni Fantasia contrappuntistica (O’Hora & Roscoe)
Debussy Lindaraja; Prélude à l’apres-midi d’un faune (Kovacevich & Owen)
Rachmaninoff Suite No. 1 (Owen & Apekisheva)
Ravel La Valse (O’Hora & Wass)
Nico Muhly Fast Patterns* (Owen & Apekisheva)
Milhaud Le Boeuf sur le Toit (Apekisheva & Wass)
Piazzolla Tangos (Stott & Wass)
Grainger Fantasy on Gershwin’s ‘Porgy & Bess’ (Stott & Roscoe)