Concertos for Two Pianos
Quattro Mani, duo pianos
The brilliant duo piano team, Quattro Mani, is heard in three twentieth century concertos. Francis Poulenc's Concerto in D minor is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of this genre- a witty, sparkling concerto that includes a Mozartean second movement, an imitation of Balinese Gamelan in its first movement, and a high spirited rondo finale that brings the work to a boisterous conclusion. Darius Milhaud's rarely performed Second Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion in three movements is a tip of the hat to Bela Bartok's masterful Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, a work Milhaud admired, referring to it in his autobiography (1953). Throughout this composition, Milhaud's subtle polytonal harmonic language combines with his colorful use of four percussionists who provide commentary and support of the two protagonists. The focal point of the composition is it's wonderfully intimate slow movement, the longest movement of the piece. In 1943, Bartok was asked to score his Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion as a concerto with orchestra. For the Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra Bart?k added pairs of woodwinds, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, celesta and strings. The orchestration adds color and intensity to a piece already brimming with invention. All of the famous Bart?k trademarks are here: "night music", fugal sections, original instrumental effects, and joyous dance music. Conductor Scott Yoo leads Colorado College's festival orchestra, a superb group, selected from among the world's leading young musicians.