<< -- 2 -- Lawrence Budmen RAVEL CHESTNUT
Another surprise was a transcription by N Pope of the Polovtsian Dances from the opera Prince Igor by Alexander Borodin. This version was replete with orchestral color -- the duo pianos conjuring up silky strings, gossamer woodwinds, and thrusting brass. In the skilled hands of Dacic and Gekic, the mesmeric sound of the music's Orientalism was born anew. The pianos sang the score's gorgeous melodies with the beauty and sensitivity of a great operatic voice. A memorable transcription in a sensitive performance!
A Mozart rarity proved to be a real charmer! Mozart worked on the Larghetto and Allegro in E flat (for piano duo) between 1782 and 1783. Left in incomplete form, the score was completed by Stadler, a composer who Mozart did not admire. The charming melodies and elegant pianistic filigree is pure Mozart. The melodic invention in this score is worthy of Mozart's piano concerti. Duo-pianists Dacic and Gekic gave a sparkling performance of this worthy score. They brought an x-ray-like clarity and stylistic restraint to a beautiful work. They were no less musically persuasive in more familiar musical terrain. Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche Suite was rendered with Gallic wit and insouciance. The concluding Samba throbbed with rhythmic intensity and interpretive individuality. (These artists bring original musical ideas to every score they perform.) In Rachmaninoff's Suite No 1 they brought romantic ardor to the composer's portrait of the wintry Russian night. Their playing had real poignancy and soul in the 'Tears' movement. The church bells of 'Russian Easter' rang out with festive power -- a multicolored celebration of pianistic mastery! The Polka from Shostakovich's Age of Gold ballet was a quirky encore, played with Slavic dash and wit. Throughout their demanding program, the sheer joy that the Dacic-Gekic duo brought to their performances produced radiant, life affirming music making!
Copyright © 11 May 2004
Lawrence Budmen, Miami Beach, USA