Friday, June 17, 2016

Anderson & Roe Piano Duo

I know nothing much about Anderson & Roe Piano Duo. But they've been making the rounds on Youtube, getting more polished, and are signed on to the Steinway record label. This was their second concert in Singapore since 2014, and they've stopped needing scores and page-turners. It was a lovely invitation to a fun evening. We had such great seats. Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe team up to play contemporary interpretations of piano classics and movie themes.

Themed 'The Forte Awakens', their Singapore concert last night sizzled with energy. The stage held two Steinway grands which sat beautifully across from each other. Although it wasn't a stiff classical music concert, people who attend these concerts should really stop wearing tinkling bells and jangling bracelets. We were a tad bemused and annoyed by a strange woman behind us who kept fidgeting and with each shift of posture, her bracelets winked like crazy. Arrrrgh.

The first half began with a sufficiently classical Mozart and Busoni's finale of the Piano Concerto in F major, K.459 in Duettino Concertante, then Rachmaninoff's four-poem 20-minute Suite No. 1 Op. 5 (Fantaisie-tableaux) for Two, and Ravel's series of epic waltzes in La Valse. I liked how the duo still keep the practice of chatting with the audience between pieces.

The second half was the 'popular' segment. It featured the duo's arrangements of various songs. It began with upbeat pieces from Argentinian Astor Piazzolla's Primavera PorteñaOblivion, and Libertango, then George David Weiss and Bob Thiele's What a Wonderful World, (a song I robustly dislike), and finally their tweaked (from a decade ago) John Williams' Three Star Wars Fantasies in three movements.

To the audience's delight, the duo played three encores that are also pieces they've arranged. They did West Side Story's very fun Mambo, Brahms' rousing Hungarian Dances, and The Beatles' Let It Be (a song I robustly dislike too). I was hoping for...well, nevermind. Sadly it didn't include any song from Radiohead like the last time when they played Paranoid Android. Considering how the Internet exploded over tabloid photos of TayTay and Loki at the beach, I was really glad they didn't do TayTay's Shake It Off.

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