MALCOLM TROUP is witness to the
manual (four-handed) marriage of
two musical missionaries
A veritable skoob-tower of forgotten piano literature for four hands, much of it in the form of transcriptions, is suddenly pricking our concert-going conscience thanks to stout-hearted nimble-fingered missionaries such as Julian Jacobson and Mariko Brown whom I had the pleasure of catching in their lunchtime concert on 26 July 2013 to mark the start of BPSE's annual Summer Festival at Regent Hall [London UK]. Beginning with Kurtag's transcription of Bach's 'Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit', it finished with Beethoven's own transcription for piano duet of his raging Grosse Fuga -- by no means an easy earful for a bunch of Oxford Street shoppers and lunchers. But they were of doughtier stuff -- supporters of the Salvation Army whose headquarters it is -- a spiritual retreat holding its own in this very hotbed of West End consumerism.
After the smoothly compatible intermingling of their four hands in the Kurtag came a long-forgotten set of variations on a theme of Count Waldstein (WoO 67) who latterly was fittingly rewarded with Beethoven's 'Waldstein' Sonata in recognition of his partisanship on behalf of the budding composer...
Copyright © 12 August 2013