Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fun for four hands and a piano keyboard

Bach's Brandenburg Concertos arranged for piano duet

Back in 2003 Sony released a great Bach album, one of my all-time favourites, by Murray Perahia. It included an electrifying performance of the 5th Brandenburg Concerto:

That's great piano playing in the cadenza, but I love the piano/orchestra textures throughout the concerto. It points the way to this new arrangement of the Brandenburg Concertos for piano duet. I know I was ready for this! Eleonor Bindman's arrangement is outstanding, at once freer and closer to the spirit of the original music, and with more interesting textures than the one by Max Reger. Bindman and Jenny Lin (who was so great in this year's release of Philip Glass Etudes) really lean in to this freedom, swinging when Bach allows, and never staid or boring when things get more thoughtful or academic.

Here's a short taste of the music, and some interesting comments about the arrangement by Bindman. Though she may have started with purely pedagogical reasons for bringing this music to four hands and a piano keyboard, which I'm sure are very close to Max Reger's own, Bindman and Lin are obviously having too much fun here for it to be just that. And that makes it even more pleasurable for us to listen to.

THE BRANDENBURG DUETS: Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos arranged for piano duet by Eleonor Bindman from Grand Piano Records on Vimeo.

Eleonor Bindman has a fabulous section on her website exploring this project more fully. I highly recommend checking it out!

The Brandenburg Duets disc will be released on March 9, 2018.

No comments:

Post a Comment