Churchill Music!UK Registered Charity No 1121866
Patron: Peter Donohoe CBE

Hans Peter and Volker Stenzl

Review: Stenzl Duo 1 March 2008

Wigore Hall, Purcell Rooms, St John’s Smith Square, St George’s Bristol. These are Britain’s premiere chamber music venues, and on the strength of Saturday’s concert given by the Stenzl Piano Duo in Churchill, St John the Baptist Church can be added to the list. This was chamber music of a truly international standard and the concert’s promoters, Churchill Music!, Should be heartily congratulated for bringing such world class musicians to the locality, thus putting Churchill firmly on the musical and cultural map.

Hans-Peter & Volker Stenzl are brothers and the duo they form is in demand throughout the world. It is easy to see why, with their excellent programming, virtuosic delivery, and informative and delightfully witty presentation. Starting with Ligeti’s short Sonatina - a musical glass of Champagne to whet the apetite - we were then treated to a rarity in the shape of Johann Wilhelm Wilms’ Sonata in C Major. Despite being written nearly 200 years ago this was a UK premiere following the recent re-discovery of Wilms’ work. After the interval was Schubert’s beautiful Fantasie in F minor – a musical picture of Schubert’s life completed just weeks before he died. To lighten the mood, the programme finished with Ravel’s Ma mère l´oye; a series of fairytales portrayed in music, and enchantingly explained by Hans-Peter.

With such a feast of fabulous repertoire presented so beautifuuly it is hard to see why four-hands piano is not more popular throughout the classical music world. Not only is there great repertoire available, but the visual excitement of watching two musicians interact at one piano is also strangely captivating – more so in my opinion than watching just one solo pianist. Four-hands piano is its own brand of alchemy requiring a delicate blend of patience, telepathy and sharing of responsibilities in addition to the artistic pre-requisite skills of musical imagination and the technique to carry it through. Volker and Hans-Peter have this elixir in bucket-loads and I feel priveleged to have witnessed them. A stampede of standing ovations and curtain calls suggested that this thought was shared by the audience, amongst whom were piano students from Churchill School, eyes agog at the international talent before them.

When this amazing duo is next playing in the UK I’ll be first in line for a ticket. Where wil you be?
Gareth Jones

We are delighted to introduce this piano duo from Germany who we know will fascinate you with their consummate technique, their playing which seems to emanate from a single source - always from memory - and their incredible sense of style.

With their broad repertoire, ranging from Bach to first performances of contemporary compositions, Hans Peter and Volker Stenzl (Royal Academy of Music graduates) are welcome guests in many of the world's major concert halls and festivals. They are also highly respected jury members at national and international music competitions.

As committed professors they pass on their experience at the music colleges in Rostock and Stuttgart and in masterclasses at the Royal Academy of Music.

Highlights of their repertoire are presented on (so far) eight CDs on the "ARS MUSICI" label.

Tonight's programme:
György Ligeti (1923-2006) - Sonatina (1950)
*Johann Wilhelm Wilms (1772-1847) - Sonata in C major op.31
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) - Fantaisie in f minor D 940
Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - Ma mère l'oye
*Composed approx. 200 years ago, we believe that this is a UK premiere!

Event details
7.30pm - 9.45pm (approx.)
Saturday 1 March
St. John the Baptist Church, Church Lane, Churchill, Somerset
There will be one interval.

Tickets
£10.50; £8.50; Under 18's £4.00
Tickets available from: Ursula Dornton 01934 852919

More information
See http://www.klavierduo-stenzl.de/en/home.html

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