Basically British XVI
John Parr & Peter Grunberg, piano
Peter Warlock Capriol Suite for Piano Duet
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Andante and Variations, Op. 83
Sir William Walton excerpts from Façade for Piano Duet
Music by Constant Lambert, Arnold Bax, and John Field
A recital of British music and music with British connections for two pianists on one piano by two former Heads of Music Staff at San Francisco Opera, including music from the early nineteenth century and moving on to the golden age of British Music. Before the invention of the gramophone, the piano duet provided a way of having orchestral music in the home for amateur as well as professional pianists and many arrangements were made both by composers themselves as well as others, in addition to original music for the medium. The Irish-composer pianist and composer John Field moved to London where he studied with Muzio Clementi – he was particularly well- known for his solo piano music and was highly respected by Chopin, Schumann and Liszt. The younger Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy was also an important figure in the London musical scene at the beginning of the nineteenth century as composer, conductor and pianist. The composer and poet Philip Heseltine adopted the pseudonym Peter Warlock as a composer. Though mainly known for his songs, his delightful pastische of Elizabethan music, the Capriol Suite, exists both for piano duet as well as its better-know version for String Orchestra. William Walton’s brilliant Façade for small instrumental ensemble and speaker spurned orchestral, piano duet and song arrangements of many of the numbers. Arnold Bax was married to the pianist Harriet Cohen, for whom he wrote all his piano music. Percy Grainger and Constant Lambert provide the remaining lighter-hearted music in the program.