We hope you'll get a sense of what our playing and our concerts are like through a few of our filmed performances. We'll talk you through what you are about to see/hear so that you have some context for each clip.
Something that defines us as a duo is our interest in creating our own arrangements for two pianos, primarily of big orchestral repertoire. We think about this like translating a book from one language to another: if you were to try and translate word-for-word, the result would be garbled and unclear. The process is really about understanding the meaning of a sentence, and representing it as idiomatically as possible in your own language, which often involves departing from the grammatical structure of the original. One of our most recent projects was an arrangement of Gustav Holst's massive orchestral suite, 'The Planets'. Here is our favourite movement, Saturn:
Now we'll get into some arrangements. We think that Harold Bauer (1873-1951) is one of the most underrated musical minds of the twentieth century - born in England, he trained as a violinist, but then decided to become a pianist instead. He made numerous arrangements for two pianos, but they are largely forgotten today. In the first video below, Suren will tell you what we like so much about Bauer's arrangements, and this arrangement of Bach's Italian Concerto in particular. That is followed by our performance of the slow movement of that piece, and in the second video, the finale:
In 2019, we collaborated with the Ottawa based choral conductor Lawrence Ewashko and his choir, the Ewashko Singers, for a performance of Brahms's 'German Requiem'. While there are existing arrangements of the Requiem for piano duet and two pianos, we didn't feel that any of them really captured the true scale of the piece. In our arrangement, we attempted to use the full potential of two keyboards to re-cast Brahms's orchestration into a different - but no less grand - musical medium. The video below is an excerpt of our performance. To hear the full Requiem, click here.
Up next: Brahms's Sonata for Two Pianos in F minor, op. 34b. Another one of our defining features is our interest in playing two-piano repertoire that isn't heard very often. This piece does not fit that description at all! It is quite possibly the best-known piece for our combination of instruments: it's so good that we just had to play it. Here is one of the middle movements, the hyper-exciting 'Scherzo':