Duo Tal & Groethuysen: Two Pianos, Four Hands

Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen lean on an open piano

January 10, 2020 | 7:30PM
Mandel Hall

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Mozart: Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 358
Schubert: Fantasie in F minor, D. 940
Wagner: Overture to 
Tannhäuser
Debussy: La Mer (arr. André Caplet)
Strauss: 
Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, Op. 28

6:30 PM lecture with David Wellbery

What to do if, before the time of recording technology, you lived in a hamlet in Yorkshire, a dorf in Bavaria, or a village in Burgundy and longed to hear great orchestral masterworks? You might call your friend John/Jean/Jonas to play piano duo or four-hand music with you. Before modern technology, these arrangements for piano were the only way for many people to hear some of the best-known works of music.

In an excitingly virtuosic and expansive program, the Israeli pianist Yaara Tal and her German partner Andreas Groethuysen, one of the world’s leading piano duos, bring piano and orchestral masterpieces for a rare two-piano and piano four-hands performance in Mandel Hall. The two came together in 1985 for a single concert. Since then, as a duo they have had tremendous impact on the genre, recording for Sony, winning more than 15 of the top European recording awards, and maturing into one of the most exciting and tonally and aesthetically perfect piano duos in the world.

Mozart wrote his clever, challenging, and showy Sonata in B-flat Major as a teenager for his sister Nannerl and himself to take on tour. Written in the last year of his life, Schubert dedicated his Fantasia in F Minor to his student Karoline Esterhazy, and the work became some of his most important music for piano. Great symphonic pieces by Wagner, Debussy, and Strauss arranged for pianos round out the program, concluding with the antics of that merry prankster, Till Eulenspiegel.

Supported by the Wilhelm von Humboldt Performance Fund