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Rhythm and Resonance 2014 - Wellington

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


Michael Fowler Centre

From $35

Age Restrictions
All Ages

Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion is one of the masterworks of the 20th century. It is the perfect synthesis of tradition and modernism: of eastern harmony and mysticism combined with western classical structure and rigour. The roots of it go back to one of his collecting expeditions, in North Africa, in 1913. A love-letter to his favourite instruments: a wholly new sound-world, both exuberant and visionary. It is also hardly ever performed, for the difficulties of combining two grand pianos and this astonishing array of instruments: xylophone, bass drum, cymbals, no less than four glowing timpani. In this spectacular programme we bring together the two pianos and an entire section of percussion to present some of the greatest works ever written for them.

Mozart’s Sonata K448 is one of the showpieces for two pianos, written for a concert in Vienna in 1781. It is pure classical perfection: brilliant, virtuosic, yet refined in the sense that would so much influence Bartók himself and all the two-piano literature to come. Le Tombeau de Couperin, one of Ravel’s most popular works, is a suite of baroque dances originally written for piano, light-hearted and scintillating. The French loved the colours and timbres of percussion, as in this stunning modern arrangement for two-marimba solo.

All of these works require absolute virtuosos, and we have them: Lenny Sakofsky and Thomas Guldborg from Stroma and the NZSO, with pianists Michael Endres and Diedre Irons. Together, they form this magic interplay, as spectacular to watch as it will remain echoed in your ears and in your mind.

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