2013 MTNA Conference – Tuesday Morning – Piano Duo Masterclass

The acclaimed Anderson & Roe Piano Duo gave the piano duo masterclass this morning.

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The first duet pair was twin sisters playing Spanish Dances, Op. 12: Moderato by Moszkowski.

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Anderson & Roe commented on the good ensemble between the two girls, then asked if they enjoyed playing the piece. They said it sounded a bit dry and want to work with them to liven the piece up a bit.

The next pair played Suite for Two Pianos, No 1 in F Major, Op. 15 by Arensky

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The 11 and 14-year olds wowed the audience with their superb performance!

Anderson & Roe worked a little bit on creating more lilt to capture a Viennese Waltz effect with more emphasis on the second beat and on “milking” the chromatic melodic motives. To achieve a more “milky” legato, they encouraged overlapping the notes.

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They encouraged the boys to capture the joyful mood of the big chordal section more by playing it as though it is really easy and fun.

For the chromatic ascending and descending runs, they encouraged the pianists to imagine a bee circling around the room with more swelling in and out of the dynamics, eventually exploding in sound as if the bee got right in their face. Also, not to be intimidated by all the notes, but to completely go all out in gesture and sound.

The final duo was another set of twins playing the Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos, K. 448.

The brothers were encouraged to think of themselves as cinematic directors tasked with bringing out the nuances of every scene and highlighting each unique character. Instead of sounding like dry technical exercises, the musicality can be brought out by taking care of every phrase ending and then intentionally introducing the character of the next phrase. Listen to the harmonic progression of the phrase endings to create musical tension and release.

They concluded by advising the students to practice slowly and dissect each phrase to achieve maximum musicality.

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I was excited to snap a quick photo with this amazing piano duo!

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