Four Hands – One Piano

Emma Abbate & Julian PerkinsEmma Abbate & Julian Perkins


I had heard this spirited duo playing locally some months ago and, reckoning it was high time we had a duet recital, I hired them for Hertford Music Club.

Their programme was interesting for what it omitted as much as for what it included. The well-known repertoire of Brahms and Dvorak  were happily replaced with pieces by C.M.von Weber and even Richard Wagner. The title for the concert came from the first piece by Percy Grainger. Lush  harmonies moved slowly to create a work vastly different from  “Country Gardens” which set us on the right footing for the next piece Andante & Variations in G by Mozart. The frequent changes of mood and texture were handled in a masterly fashion.

C.M.von Weber’s Huit Pieces were sensitively played, but we had to await a performance of a work  by R.Wagner to ring the stylistic changes. The best ‘Romantic’ work in the programme was the Dance Pieces by R.Schumann – tuneful and with plenty of variety. The concert was rounded off with delightful well-known pieces- the ‘ Petite Suite’ by Debussy. Our duetists conveyed the bustling feeling of a Spring time day  contrasting with the lap of lazy oars in the water in En Bateau. To bring the concert to a close Emma and Julian launched into  a wild arrangement of Gershwin’s ‘I got Rhythm’ – ingeniously starting in a minor key before treading more familiar areas.

Julian enjoyed performing so much today  that he threw open his arms saying, “I wish was able to take this room with me, such a wonderful acoustic that seems to draw out the sound from the piano” We were sorry to disappoint but realised once again how privileged we are to have the use of this venue for the Club.


Were YOU at this concert? What did YOU think? Please share your comment below…

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