An evening that fizzed like a glass of champagne! Linda Ang and Robert Stoodley, collectively known as Piano à Deux, gave us a recital of piano-four-hands playing in which the lighthearted presentation concealed some seriously good musicianship And, for that matter, some very fine pieces.
The evening was entitled "Meet me in Paris", with a French connection to everything they played. They opened in safe territory with a spanking selection of tunes from Bizet's Carmen, before moving on to Fauré's Dolly Suite. From there, a number of interesting avenues opened up: Robert left the stool for a time to let Linda deliver some solo Chopin, Bach was fused with Cole Porter (I love Paris in the springtime), and three arrrangements of Poulenc songs (including the sombre "C") were slipped in almost before the audience had a chance to be surprised by the change of mood.
On we rolled, never pausing for too long and always keeping things bright. Liszt followed Chopin, Johnny Mercer was played in the style of Mozart and Rachmaninov. And so to a finale from Gershwin - a brilliant piano reduction of much of the score of An American in Paris, and the sight of Robert counting like crazy as the pair powered through the time changes and the syncopations. Hugely enjoyable. No wonder the audience absolutely demanded an encore, and the duo obliged by putting us on a plane out of Paris to Eric Coates' Sleepy Lagoon. One to hum on the way home! Bravo, Piano à Deux.
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