St Christopher

Music for two pianos
Event 7
Thursday October 11th , 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Powerful music for two pianos
Igor Stravinsky
The Rite of Spring
Claude Debussy
En blanc et noir
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata for two pianos in D major, K448

This is an archived event from the 2012 programme.

Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen pianos

A hundred years ago Stravinsky was composing The Rite of Spring.  Then it caused a riot, now it’s a much-loved classic.  Yet it’s lost none of its edge – still a thrilling experience touching primitive depths. 

Stravinsky composed at the piano, and he completed and published this two-piano version of The Rite before the orchestral version – giving a public performance with Debussy as his duet partner. It’s an immensely exciting score that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  Professor Jonathan Cross (Christchurch, Oxford, author of The Stravinsky Legacy) will introduce the piece.

Debussy also wrote excellent piano duets.  In 1915, depressed and nearing the end of his life, he was seized by an outburst of creativity that produced a brilliant and colourful masterpiece, En blanc et noir (In black and white) – an energetically swirling waltz, a moving and sombre lament for a friend killed in the Great War, and finally an impishly skittering Scherzando.

Leap back from the Great War to the Enlightment of 1781. The 25 year old Mozart was writing his two-piano sonata, a major masterpiece even by his standards – one of his most profound compositions, thought Alfred Einstein.  It’s the essence of Mozart – elegant and charming on the surface, rich and moving beneath.

Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen are a successful duo partnership as well as highly-regarded soloists.  Gramophone magazine described Charles Owen as “one of the finest British pianists of his generation”.

Katya is one of Europe’s foremost pianists, a prize-winner at the Leeds and Scottish piano competitions.

“This was a performance of considerable insight and brilliance; an account that was beyond criticism. Katya Apekisheva is a very fine artist indeed” (Robert Matthew-Walker, Musical Opinion)

Katya Apekisheva's website can be found here. Charles Owen's website can be accessed here.