Two’s Company (whether four-hand or two-piano)
Debussy duet premiere from Jacobson and Brown
The latest issue of Pianist is a duet special (on sale tomorrow Friday 24 November 2017), packed with guides on how to play four-hand and two-piano repertoire, interviews with today’s most dynamic duettists, reviews of duet scores and CDs and a lively history of why it’s such fun to sit at the keyboard with a friend.
Now issued by happy coincidence on SOMM recordings, the distinguished partnership of Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown has recorded the Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Busoni’s masterpiece for two pianos. Busoni originally wrote the Fantasia for solo piano but recognised that the contrapuntal marvels of his Bachian homage could be more clearly played and appreciated with two pianists, and accordingly reworked it in 1921.
Jacobson and Brown have paired the Busoni with the first-ever recording of the four-hands version of Khamma, Debussy’s exotic ballet set in ancient Egypt. Also included is the mischievous seven-part cycle of Three Pieces in the form of a Pear, which Erik Satie wrote when his friend Debussy criticised him for composing without form.
The duet fun doesn’t end with Pianist 99. Look out for our special anniversary 100th issue, available on 26 January 2018, which will include Leif Ove Andsnes talking about his happy partnership of contrasts with Marc-André Hamelin.
BUSONI / ANTHONY HERSHEL HILL / SATIE / DEBUSSY / CASELLA / POULENC
Julian Jacobson & Mariko Brown Piano Duo
Photo: © Roger Harris Photography