Sunday, April 27, 2008

Four hands make great music

kw: performance review, pianists, education

Last evening (Saturday April 26) we enjoyed four-hand piano by the Bradshaw-Martin duo. They performed in the dance studio of the Darlington Arts Center in Boothwyn, PA. I am part-time faculty there, teaching a few music lessons. Chris lives of his music, teaching full time and fulfilling a busy performing schedule. He and Martin perform four-hand (one piano) and piano duo concerts worldwide, enchanting audiences with this unique genre since 1992.

One would think the repertoire for four-hand piano to be limited, but my colleague Chris is an inveterate collector with a nose for good material. He told a particularly charming anecdote before the final suite of the concert, about a four-hand rendering of Gustav Holst's "The Planets" that had been found in a closet at St. Paul's, where Holst had taught. It has since been published, and we enjoyed four of the movements that the Duo chose to cap the evening.

Prior to an intermission, they had performed Mozart's "Jupiter" (Sympony #41 in C) and Edward MacDowell's "Moon Pictures", evocative renderings from stories by Hans Christian Anderson. Notes in the program explained the Moon stories, from Anderson's Picturebook Without Pictures.

Darlington is one of the smaller venues for a Bradshaw-Martin performance. Only forty were in attendance. The true Classical genre occupies a small niche. But I enjoy it infinitely more than the more popular genres heard on Top 40 stations. This was an evening we will long remember fondly.

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