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Joined: Jun 2008
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Another delightful concert here in rainy Seattle: Emanuel Ax and Yefim Brofman:

Brahms - Variations on a theme of Haydn for 2 pianos

Bolcom - Recuerdos for Two Pianos

Mozart - Sonata for Two Pianos D major

Rachmaninov - Symphonic Dances for Two pianos Op 45.


I loved it all but esp. the Mozart - a personal favorite of mine. The synergy was amazing. No egos got in the way. Just 2 friends playing and sharing the spotlight. If you didn't know the music well, it was often difficult to tell who was playing which part, that's how well they meshed. Wish you all could have been there.


Best regards,

Deborah
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Oh! I am so jealous now! Fima is one of my favorite living pianists and it's always a delight to see him play. I've seen Fima play the Mozart 22 concerto and it was everything Mozart should be - he earned my undying respect and love after that! Seen him play Prok. 3 also, the man is a beast. Unfortunately I've missed every opportunity so far to see Mr. Ax. But I think I have him lined up this season at the ASO.

How did this concert compare to the others you've seen this year?


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New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
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I had the opportunity to watch them both perform a few years ago in Berkeley. Their program consisted of Stravinsky's The Right of Spring (2 pianos), Ravel's La Valse, Debussy's En Blanc et Noir, and Robert Schumann's Canonic Etudes

They really do make an amazing duo.

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Heard this duo the other day on the radio playing a Brahms sonata for 2 pianos (I think it's a version of the piano quintet) - really stunning.


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WAHH!
frown

They are in Scottsdale this Sunday night but I'm too broke to pony up the $85 a ticket.

Oh well...hope somebody else goes to see them and posts another report.


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Quote
Originally posted by Minaku:


How did this concert compare to the others you've seen this year?
The only other concert I've been to so far this year was Lang Lang whom I enjoyed very much.

I love 2 piano music in particular so I think this one will be my favorite for the entire year. My only criticism of the concert was that the voicing of the two pianos was a bit off. One piano seemed quite a bit brighter than the other. Bronfman and Ax switched pianos twice making it clear that the difference in tone was not the pianists.

The Seattle Symphony has, IMO, an unusually pleasing concert schedule this year. We were lucky enough to acquire concert tickets for Itzak Perlman, more Bronfman and Andre Watts, plus Gershwin's concerto in F and lots of other wonderful symphonic music.

Last night's concert was a real treat for me. 2 years ago I worked on the Mozart sonata (never finished it) so last night I couldn't stop my fingers from "helping". There are a few difficult passages where one piano plays on the beat and the other plays on the off beat. They carried it off seamlessly - making it sound like one piano playing a string of 8th notes.

It was a real joy to watch these two professionals perform with such perfection and modesty. Clearly they are good friends.


Best regards,

Deborah
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Quote
Originally posted by ProdigalPianist:
WAHH!
frown

They are in Scottsdale this Sunday night but I'm too broke to pony up the $85 a ticket.

Oh well...hope somebody else goes to see them and posts another report.
You might check with the box office to see if there are any donated tickets or reduced rate tickets. It's really worth it.


Best regards,

Deborah
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Same program at Carnegie Hall next friday apparently. Thanks for the review Deborah. I am planning to go and will report.I have seen Ax alone previously but never seen Bronfman live.
How were they reviewed by the local critics in Seattle?

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Quote
Originally posted by Andromaque:
Same program at Carnegie Hall next friday apparently. Thanks for the review Deborah. I am planning to go and will report.I have seen Ax alone previously but never seen Bronfman live.
How were they reviewed by the local critics in Seattle?
I didn't see any reviews in the local paper, but may have missed it.

I'm looking forward to your review. Have a wonderful evening. I wish I could go again!


Best regards,

Deborah
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Come on down. I have 2 free tickets Row G .. Don't ask me how I got them but it was honest..

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Nice Andromaque... how did you pull that off?

The two artists just performed in LA. I missed a good one :-( but here is a link to the write up in the LA Times.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/la-et-pianists14-2008nov14,0,4828026.story

Cheers!


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Let me second Deborah's Wow!
I attended the same concert last night. They were terrific. Such virtuosic technique and poetry.. They played 2 Steinways one of wich was completely open and I did not detect any issues with voicing as Deborah had in the concert she attended. In fact the bass on these pianos was particularly rich and engrossing. The Brahms Haydn was incredibly elegant and the Balcolm (? sp.) piece (Recuerdos) was very interesting. I had never heard it before. It is a remarkable mix of rythm and beautiful dissonance. Then they played a Mozart Sonata that would have made Wolfgang smile grandly. They were beyond "synchronous", almost telepathic and they produced gorgeous sound and sonorities. They also seemed at such ease together. After the intermission, they played Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances, a masterpiece. It gave them many opportunities to show off their amazing technique independently and Rachmaninov here elvates the art of dual sonority. You imagine hearing harmonic effects you never heard before. I should say that I do not often listen to Duos so there may be an Alice in Wonderland effect here.
The encore was, according to my neigbor, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance. Also not known to me, but beautiful. They played clown before starting. No duet bench. Bronfman sat on the regular bench and Ax on the page turner chair. The turner then moved a chair from the other piano's side. They exchanged funny looks to each other and the audience, and got some laughs. Then it was over and we were out in the freezing wind and cold...
Now out of simple curiosity, who are these page turners? local music school students? Do they attend rehearsals? Do the pianists just show up in town and someone arranges for a page turner? I know.. not terribly relevant.. but I am curious.

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Andromaque - glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. I heard the exact same concert and encore.

I recently read that Bronfman and Ax are actually very good friends who live in the same building and commute to Lincoln Center together. I'm sure the friendship helps the synergy, which is truly amazing.

Bronfman clowned a little doing the bench thing too but what was really funny was when a few audience members began clapping after the first movement of the Brahms. Bronfman looked into the audience searching for the people responsible for the gauche error and then grandly nodded a bow to them. Everyone cracked up.

It's nice to see such professionals not taking things too seriously and just enjoying themselves.


Best regards,

Deborah

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