The piano duo we’ve all been waiting for?

The piano duo we’ve all been waiting for?


norman lebrecht

April 02, 2018

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

I’m just about old enough to remember a time when piano duos were a thing — pairs who travelled the world playing nothing but four hand. I even had an adventurous young friend who made it her business to sleep with both members of a duo, just to see if it disrupted them.

Whatever happened to the piano duo?….

Read on here.

And here.

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  • erich says:

    Having just had the unfortunate experience of hearing the Labeques bash their way through the Mozart at the Salzburg Easter Festival, on the same autopilot and with the same irritating mannerisms they have foisted on the public for the last 30 years, I cannot wait to hear this new disc.


    Mr. Lebrecht, how did your friend’s experiment turn out?

  • 4handsbetterthan2 says:

    But why the photograph of the brilliant Anderson and Roe? I don’t geddit.

    • daveferre says:

      Heard them in Santa Fe a while back. I bought all the CDs they were offering. A great duo.

      • SPR says:

        Anderson and Roe brought the house down in their concert and recital in Liverpool last season – watch that space…..
        They stunned tge audience with their Rite of Spring duo, knocked out everyone with their encores after the Poulenc double and know how to spice up a post concert talk too!

  • Larry says:

    Yes, I remember Gold and Fizdale, Vronsky and Babin, Whittemore and Lowe.

    Nowadays there’s the Pekinel Sisters, the Labeque sisters, who come to mind first. There are several duo piano competitions to foster interest in the art form, the most famous being the Dranoff Competition

    • Dan P. says:

      I’ve heard the Pekinel and Labeque sisters and they are not anywhere in the league of Vronsky/Babin, Gold/Fizdale, or even Whittemore/Lowe. These duos were all very mature and thoughtful musicians, with a great deal of musical culture behind them. Of course, they were also top notch pianists. I hate to use the word serious, which has a certain connotations in some corners, but these folks were serious musicians, not musical “acts.”

      • Robert Hairgrove says:

        I had the good fortune to hear Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale play a two-piano recital in my home town when I was still in school (on a Community Concerts tour), and I still have their autographed program.

        We also have to be thankful for their wonderful biography “Misia” — about the philanthropist and muse Misia Sert, without whom the history of 20th century music might look very different today.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    The Jonas and Pierce duo made a brilliant recording of Berezowsky’s masterpiece, Fantasy for two pianos and orchestra.

  • Donald Wright says:

    I haven’t seen any mention of the Naughton sisters yet (although it could be that comments have been made about them that are awaiting moderation). The twins seem to play even the most complicated works (e.g., Messiaen) with perfect ensemble, and from memory. They were featured some months back on Living the Classical Life.

  • Anson says:

    The Labeques have never moved me, but in addition to this one, Argerich has had a number of good-to-great duo albums — with Nicolas Economou, Nelson Friere, Daniel Barenboim.

  • M2N2K says:

    Heard Daniil Trifonov with Sergei Babayan fairly recently – absolutely wonderful.