MARCH 2014

Vive la difference

From Germany, the brothers Volker and Hans-Peter Stenzl are mature artists and teachers, playing Ravel's La Valse as a breathtakingly intense attack on the solar plexus. Young performers, pupils, Japanese sisters Ayaka and Yuka Yamamoto give an achingly tender rendering of Schumann's Six Variations in Canonic Form, op. 56 (Debussy)to remind us of our spiritual being. Brilliant technique. Brilliant effect. All in one program. They ended the concert with a joyous and laughingly rendered encore for 8 hands, shared with a rapt and grateful audience.

I had conversations with both sets of artists about the question of how. How do you reach a better end product. How do you fight and still be able to sit side by side for hours. How do you keep your own identity as individual ensemble players but reach a unison that is uncanny. As Hans-Peter Stenzl and his brother Volker clearly said: "The artists have to have their own experience, their own ideas and their own strengths. This is the only way that the performances can take on the colors and qualities the music is intended to have."
Does this not hold true in relationships off the piano bench - friendship, marriage, partnerships, working teams? If you are committed to the end result, you stay on the bench and find a way to work out your differences. In writing music scores, and in playing, the real challenge and the real success is by finding a way to give both sets of hands equal value. That is exciting, fulfilling, and ultimately symphonic.

Some would say that the genre of duo piano is very limited. Why not be an explorer, together with us, and discover that those limits are, in fact, limited. To wit: this concert season. Classical masters, then new commissions, now the upcoming concert of jazz for two pianos, and finally Piano Slam, a melange classical and hip hop, music, dance and poetry. Next month's Jazz Squared is a first for us: the first time at the South Dade Cultural Arts. The first time presenting a jazz for 2 piano concert. The first time that Bacardi has sponsored a new work. The premiere of this commission by Martin Bejerano. (Please read about this below.) I especially want to express thanks to our generous presenting sponsors, Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay and Fidelity Investments!

Be the first to go with us on this discovery tour - next season will bring to you many more unknowns. Be the one who can say: "I found this, and I would love to share it with you. It is unfamiliar to you, different from what you are accustomed to and utterly fun."

Vive la difference.

Warm regards,

Gabriele Fiorentino


 
 

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