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Described as ‘unforgettable’ by The Australian and ‘barnstorming’ by The New York Times, the Viney-Grinberg Piano Duo enjoy a stellar international profile. In their new album on ABC Classics, they survey recent music by Australian composers for piano four-hands, much of it receiving its world-premiere recording.
Music for piano four-hands began in the latter half of the 18th century, as the piano itself gained popularity. In the words of the pianists themselves, ‘the five Australian compositions on this disc grow and build on that tradition, with ambitious largescale works of complexity and virtuosity, as well as miniatures that deal with the interior world of the human heart and mind. Despite the diversity of music on this disc – a fascinating variety of responses to the musical opportunities afforded by piano four-hand performance – there is also a unifying thread of dynamism and spirited energy.’
Ross Edwards’ A Flight of Sunbirds showcases a seemingly effortless affection; Carl Vine and Stuart Greenbaum’s Sonatas explores the potential for four-handed counterpoint. Peter Sculthorpe’s ‘delicate and wistful quartet of beautiful tableaux’ follow the tradition of arranging existing works for piano four-hands. And Elena Kats-Chernin’s Victor’s Heart uses the warm resonance of the form to create a touching musical tribute.