CARNEGIE HALL PRESENTS

Performance Friday, April 28, 2017 | 8 PM

Leif Ove Andsnes
Marc-André Hamelin

Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
When a great pianist takes the Carnegie Hall stage, it’s a high-voltage experience. When it’s two of the world’s best, the electricity can light up a city. The New York Times called Leif Ove Andsnes “a pianist of magisterial elegance, power, and insight;” while The Guardian has praised Marc-André Hamelin’s “sure-footed musical approach” and “impeccable range of technical skills.” The power duo performs songful Mozart, sincere but elusive Debussy, and both pungent and primal Stravinsky.

Performers

  • Leif Ove Andsnes, Piano
  • Marc-André Hamelin, Piano

Program

  • MOZART Larghetto and Allegro for Two Pianos (completed by Paul Badura-Skoda)
  • STRAVINSKY Concerto for Two Pianos
  • DEBUSSY En blanc et noir
  • STRAVINSKY Le sacre du printemps for Two Pianos

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Bios

  • Leif Ove Andsnes


    With his commanding technique and searching interpretations, celebrated Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes has won acclaim worldwide. An avid chamber musician, he is the founding director of Norway's Rosendal Chamber Music Festival. This season, Mr. Andsnes performs in concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestra, London's Philharmonia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Symphony Orchestra. He also gives solo recitals across South America and Japan, and joins Matthias Goerne for Schubert lieder projects.

    Following the enormous success of his recent three-volume Beethoven Journey on Sony Classical, Mr. Andsnes returns to the studio to make two new recordings, both for release during the 2017-2018 season: a Stravinsky two-piano album with Marc-André Hamelin for Hyperion, and a solo Sibelius collection for Sony Classical. His discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics-including solo, chamber, and concerto releases, many of them bestsellers-that span the repertoire from Bach to the present day.

    Mr. Andsnes is the recipient of Norway's distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. In 2007, he received the prestigious Peer Gynt Prize, awarded by members of parliament to honor prominent Norwegians for their achievements in politics, sports, and culture. This spring, Mr. Andsnes received an honorary doctorate from The Juilliard School. He is also the recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist of the Year award and the Gilmore Artist Award, and was inducted into the Gramophone Hall of Fame in 2013. Saluting his many achievements, Vanity Fair named him one of the "Best of the Best" in 2005.

    Mr. Andsnes was born in Karmøy, Norway, in 1970, and studied at the Bergen Conservatory under renowned Czech professor Jiři Hlinka. He has also received invaluable advice from Belgian piano teacher Jacques de Tiège, who has greatly influenced Mr. Andsnes's style and philosophy of playing. He is currently an artistic adviser for the Prof. Jiři Hlinka Piano Academy in Bergen, where he gives an annual master class for participating students. Mr. Andsnes currently lives in Bergen, and in June 2010, achieved one of his proudest accomplishments to date: becoming a father for the first time. His family expanded in May 2013 with the welcome arrival of twins.

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  • Marc-André Hamelin


    Marc-André Hamelin is ranked among the elite of world pianists for his unrivaled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the neglected music of the 19th and 20th centuries. He began the 2016-2017 season with appearances at the Schubertiade, Verbier, Lofoten, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Domaine Forget, Aspen, and La Jolla festivals. In addition, the La Jolla Music Society commissioned Mr. Hamelin to write a piano and cello sonata for himself and cellist Hai-Ye Ni.

    Mr. Hamelin's orchestral engagements this season include performances with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and Kirill Petrenko, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, among others. He appears in recital at Vienna's Konzerthaus, Berlin's Philharmonie, The Gilmore festival, and 92nd Street Y, as well as in Cleveland, Chicago, and Toronto, performing the concertos of Haydn, Mozart, Ravel, Shostakovich, Brahms, and Rachmaninoff. Mr. Hamelin also made his China debut this season, with two recitals in the legendary Shanghai Concert Hall in November.

    Mr. Hamelin tours in Europe and North America this season for duo recitals with Mr. Andsnes, as well as with the Pacifica Quartet for the world premiere of his own Piano Quintet, commissioned by the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California. He concludes the season as a juror at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, for which he has been commissioned to write the compulsory solo work for the contestants.

    Mr. Hamelin records exclusively for Hyperion Records. His discography of more than 50 recordings includes concertos and works for solo piano by such composers as Alkan, Godowsky, and Medtner, as well as brilliantly received performances of Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, and Shostakovich. His most recent releases are the Shostakovich Piano Quintet with the Takács Quartet and a solo disc of Mozart sonatas. He was recognized as the 2014 ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of Year, and his three-disc Busoni: Late Piano Music was named Disc of the Year by Diapason and Classica magazines.

    He has recently recorded Debussy's Images and Preludes, Book II; Haydn concertos with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie; three double-disc sets of Haydn sonatas; and an album of his own compositions, Marc-André Hamelin: Études, which received a 2010 Grammy Award nomination (his ninth) and a first prize from the German Record Critics' Award Association.

    Born in Montreal and a resident of Boston, Mr. Hamelin is the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the German Record Critics' Award Association. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec, and a member of the Royal Society of Canada.

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Audio

STRAVINSKY Le sacre du printemps for Two Pianos
GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

At a Glance

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Larghetto and Allegro for Two Pianos

Keyboard duets—whether for two players on one keyboard (“four hands”) or for separate instruments—were a staple of amateur music making in the 18th century. Although Johann Christian Bach was the first composer to publish a set of duo piano sonatas in 1777, Mozart’s masterful Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K. 448—written for one of his favorite female students in Vienna—followed soon after. Its success prompted Mozart to write several other piano duets, none of which would ever be finished.


IGOR STRAVINSKY  Concerto for Two Pianos

Stravinsky wrote this exhilarating work in the early 1930s to perform with his pianist son Soulima. In place of the usual competition between soloist and orchestra, the Concerto for Two Pianos features a concertante-style collaboration between the two players, culminating in a dazzling display of contrapuntal ingenuity.


CLAUDE DEBUSSY  En blanc et noir

Composed during World War I, this set of three caprices (as Debussy originally called them) is astonishingly adventurous in its approach to both structure and sonority. Debussy was a master colorist, and the range of shades he captured in the music goes far beyond the black and white suggested by the title.


IGOR STRAVINSKY  Le sacre du printemps for Two Pianos

Stravinsky’s faux-primitive evocation of pagan rituals in his native Russia has lost none of its power to shock and awe since its legendary first performance in 1913. In arranging the huge orchestral score for two pianos, the composer emphasized the ballet’s pounding, sharply etched rhythms more than its sonic splendor.

Program Notes
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Sponsored by Golub Capital
This performance is part of Keyboard Virtuosos I.

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