St Christopher

Four hands on two pianos
Event 1
Friday October 2nd,  8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

The power of two pianos
Igor Stravinsky
Petrushka
Johannes Brahms
Variations on a theme by Haydn, op56b
Sergei Rachmaninov
Suite no 1 in G minor, op5
Witold Lutoslawski
Variations on a theme by Paganini

This is an archived event from the 2015 Programme.

Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen pianos

Three years ago these two pianists gave us a stunning and unforgettable performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Now they’re back, playing a pair of state-of-the-art Fazioli grands.

Stravinsky’s moving ballet Petrushka deals with the loves and jealousies of three fairground puppets who come to life. Petrushka loves the Ballerina; she rejects him, preferring the Moor; he challenges the Moor, who kills him with his scimitar; Petrushka’s ghost rises defiantly above the puppet theatre – and collapses.

Brahms’s variations on the noble St Anthony Chorale theme is one of his best loved works. The two-piano score (written and performed before the more familiar orchestral version) brings out the clarity of the writing.

Rachmaninov dedicated this attractive and romantic suite to Tchaikovsky – a lyrical Barcarolle with glittering decoration, a passionate love song, a sadly falling Largo and a hypnotic chant over ostinato bells.

Finally, Lutoslawski’s exhilarating, sprightly (and utterly delightful) variations on the theme from demon fiddler Paganini’s 24th Caprice.

Katya Apekisheva is one of Europe’s foremost pianists, a prize-winner at the Leeds and Scottish piano competitions and a “profoundly gifted artist” (Gramophone), whose "power and temperament remind me of Martha Argerich” (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Moscow).

Charles Owen has been described as “Out of the best school of British pianism – bright, sensitive, unaffected and with playing informed by brainwork” (Glasgow Herald), and “one of the finest British pianists of his generation” (Gramophone).

“Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva are superb pianists in their own right... as a duo they make more than the sum of their parts” (Michael Church, The Independent)

Both are Professors of Piano at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Concert in memory of Michael Cox