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Games, Chorales and Fantasy album premiere, signed by Francoise-Green Piano Duo - CD Review, 6th of October

Thursday, 6 October 2016 , ora 11.25

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Responsible for over 50 world premieres

Starting with 2008, Antoine Francoise and Robin Green have dedicated their careers to promoting the piano duo, approaching a large repertoire in their performances, from Mozart to Ravel and Kurtag. Since then, the two artists are responsible for over 50 world premieres, that include works signed by Hanspeter Kyburtz, Ruaidhri Mannion and Gavin Higgins, or even young composers like Vlad Maistorovici, Christian Elliott, Colin Alexander, Alissa Firsova and Christian Mason.

Francoise-Green Piano Duo counts with something that some critics call Karlheinz Stockhausen's masterpiece- Mantra, in their repertoire, present on the playbill of their performances in the UK, Switzerland and France.

Antoine Francoise and Robin Green are the winners of the Nicati Competition in Switzerland and Royal Overseas League competition in London, dedicated to the chamber music. They were also winners in the 2015 international Franz Schubert competition. They have performed recitals at Wigmore hall, Kings Place, St David's Hall and the Purcell Room, in London. Their most recent appearances include Davos Festival-Young Artists in concert, Biennale Bern, Les Jardins Musicaux festival, in France, the Brighton Internatonal festival or Vale of Glamorgan Festival and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Francoise-Green Piano has got a very fruitful 2016-2017 season regarding their scenical appearances. The playbill of their recitals includes the complete Mozart piano sonatas for piano duet, a selection of four hands masterworks by Schubert, iconic arrangements of parts signed by famous names of the Viennese School, such as Arnold Schoenberg's two Chamber symphonies, the orchestral interludes from Berg's Wozzeck or an arrangement of Lulu suite, by Alban Berg. Also, Alexander von Zemlinsky's arrangement of the Sixth Symphony by Gustav Mahler is included in the performance.

Games, Chorales and Fantasy

The album Games, Chorales and Fantasy, released on 26th of August 2016, although not officially declared, is a tribute to Gyorgy Kurtag, the composer who turned 90, this February. Amongst the 10 Bachian Chorales, in the unspoiled and respectful arrangement, up against the genius of baroque, bearing the signature of Kurtág, musical moments from the work Games - pedagogical performance pieces, lay scattered. This is an 8-volume opus, from where a selection of pieces has been particularly picked out, in order to be played at two pianos or four hands. They are miniatures that imitate the spontaneous game of the children, the sounds ment to wake up their musical instinct. The coincidence and the raw sonorous experiment are enhanced until they become the very aim of these miniatures.

For the one who wants to listen to this album from tip to tip, its tesselated evolution is unexpected, to say the least. The austerity of the Bachian netting, in front of whom the arrangement of Kurtag bends completely is in my view, desolately associated to the childish flavoures musical improvisations of the Games. I repeat, it is all about annexation and not about the pieces by themselves.

The star of the album is, in my opinion, the Fantasia in F minor D.940 by Franz Schubert, that the two pianists perform in a fresh and colourful way. It is, if you want to put it like this, the ace up the sleeve of this album.

These are the arguments that I bring in front of you, in order to invite you to listen to the musical moments from the Games, Chorales and Fantasy album in premiere, during CD Review, on 6th of October, at 12.15.

Gabriel Marica
Translated by Raluca Ilie
MTTLC, the University of Bucharest, 2nd Year