How many conductors play 4-hand as an encore?

Apart from Barenboim?

This is Sir Antonio Pappano with Kirill Gerstein in Munich this week, knocking off a Rachmaninov waltz.




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  • Just because they can doesn’t mean it’s meaningful. I saw Barenboim do a duet encore with Argerich, live (many of them are posted on youtube). Well, you’d think it was a meeting of the Titans, an event for the ages. But they were just sight reading a piece together. Cute. Touching even, for these 2 legends to be playing together, sitting next to each other. But if they honestly had something to say artistically or intellectually, they would’ve programmed a concert together for 4 hands. Well, like I said, their encores now live on youtube for posterity, so everyone is happy.

    • Oh please, stop complaining about every minute thing that ever happens. Enough. Enjoy the show or go home.

    • Anon: “But if they honestly had something to say artistically or intellectually, they would’ve programmed a concert together for 4 hands.”

      Argerich & Barenboim have programmed several concerts for duo piano, and recorded a couple. Satisfied?

      No, I didn’t think so.

    • Lahav Shani played a Debussy sonata in between the concerto and orchestra program with Renaud Capuçon, who was soloist at Radio France Hall in Paris – and at the end encore…

  • Philippe Jordan joined Jean-Yves Thibaudet in the final movement from Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye at the Proms a few years ago. In that vast hall, you could have heard the proverbial pin. Magic.

  • Yannick plays encores with soloists; A Brahms waltz with Manny Ax in Paris a few years ago, among others.

    • Yannick also played excerpts from Ma mère l’Oye with Manny @ Philadelphia a few years ago, during the “snow-in” concert.

  • Keith Lockhart played a 4-hand encore with Marc-Andre Hamelin (joined by the orchestra’s principal trumpet) in Edmonton many years ago (Rachmaninoff’s Italian Polka). William Eddins played 4-hand encores following Edmonton Symphony performances with Angela Cheng (a Brahms Hungarian Dance), Sarah Davis Buechner (Busoni’s Duettino Concertante) and Marc-Andre Hamelin (Italian Polka again, with a different principal trumpet). Rei Hotoda joined forces with Angela Cheng for the third movement of Mozart’s Double Piano Concerto after a second piano was wheeled out during applause. Audiences were all delighted …

  • Lahav Shani played a 4-hand encore with Kirill last year – overture to Barber of Seville in a four-hand version arranged by Arnold Schönberg the same year he composed Pelleas and Melisande – which followed after the interval. It takes a soloist with a very generous spirit to share the encore with the conductor, kudos to Gerstein for making a habit of it.

  • To add to the list…

    I recall Dallas Symphony conductor Andrew Litton doing a 4-hand encore with the soloist (whose name I don’t recall at the moment) of the just-completed piano concerto at a concert in the 90s.

    I believe it was the Brahms Hungarian Dance #5, performed with all the theatrical and melodramatic gusto the work deserves.

  • I’m surprised nobody has mentioned the Prom a few years ago, when Philippe Jordan joined Jean-Yves Thibaudet for an account of the last part of Ravel’s Ma Mere L’Oye. In the vast RAH you could hear the proverbial pin. Pure magic.

  • I just love the fact that Tony is still conducting even when he is playing four hand piano – you can take the conductor away from the podium but you can’t take the podium …….

  • In Montpellier, (France), after two concertos (MacMillan and best-ever Prok2), Vadim Repin was joined by the conductor Joseph Swenson for a movement of Prokofiev’s sonata for 2violins, fantastic lyricism and intensity, much appreciote by audience and orchestra, (Ensemble Orchestral de Paris) alike.

    Montpellier must have something of the duo spirit as Simon Trpceski, after an outstanding Prok3 annonced he would like to encore with the 1st cellist (of the Orchestre National de Lille, Gregorio Robino)…the second movement of Shostakovich cello sonata….it was marvellous, and exactly in the spirit of what we’d just heard.

    I don’t normally like encores by the soloist after concertos; so many are ill-judged, (J-Y Thibaudet: Ravel Pavane, with the horn looking on longingly at something he would play much better….. and our current subject K Gerstein plonking Bach-Busoni (in g-minor), after a radiant F# finish to an appallingly badly played Skriabin Concerto…(Skriabin detested german classics…Ugh!)…but when there’s true collaboration, and the music is in harmony and spirit with what went before, it adds a delicious personal touch. Bravo Sir AP, and KG for this one, but why were the last chords cut off? Did KG make one of his characteristic cock-ups at the last moment?

      • Ye gods! Lack of concentration: apologies to KG for my confused memory; the ghastly unwanted Bach-Bus encore after Skriabin was the equally incompetent Igor Levit. KG provided the loudest and most wrong notes ever in another unwanted encore, (Liszt etude “Eroica”), after a blunderous Tchaik 1 at Proms.

        All this to underline that if post-concerto encores must be suffered, better they be duos, etc, at least that’s more fun, (usually).

  • Then in a concert in Australia, piano soloist Andre Tchaikowsky switched places with conductor Chris Seaman, and finished a Mozart piano concerto together in that arrangement. Andre whispered to the orchestra, “pay no attention to me.”

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