Full house for piano recital

Piano4Hands, Joseph Tong and Waka Hasegawa, gave a stylish and sensitive performance which demonstrated their immaculate technique in this second concert of the Morpeth Music Society season. There was a full house for the recital which opened with Mozart Andante- the duo giving an impeccable and lighthearted performance of this evergreen of the duet repertoire. Their mood changed radically with Schubert’s Lebenssturme, meaning “Life’s storms”, in which passion, tragedy and peace were portrayed vividly. Joseph then performed the primo part in Schubert’s Fantasie, his luminous playing of the opening theme upholding his comment that this work is considered to be the greatest piano duet ever composed. Edwin Roxburgh’s Reflets dans la Glace ended the first half. A new sound world was created here, especially when the composer used chord clusters. One felt the temperature drop below freezing in this music. The second half was devoted to Debussy, starting with Six Epigraphes Antiques, which showed a close affinity to his earlier piano music. Then came Marche Ecossaise, commissioned by General Meredith Reid in 1891 who supplied the Scottish March theme which Debussy followed in the subsequent composition. The final piece in the programme was La Mer, a wonderful evocation of the ebb and flow of the sea in all its moods and is better known in its orchestrated version, however it was the duet that came first.
After a long and enthusiastic applause plus a short encore the audience allowed the artists to leave the stage bringing an end to a memorable concert. (T.D.)