The first quarter of 2017 has been filled with exciting concerts, travels, and events, from the opening concert of the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival in South Korea to the duo's UK orchestral debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. (For regular tour photos/updates, follow Anderson & Roe on Instagram.)
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Partnership does not do justice in describing the electrifying performance by the Anderson & Roe piano duo. Pianists Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe showed the magic that can happen when two musicians perform with one soul.
In a program that included a classical Mozart piece arranged into ragtime and the Beatle’s “Let It Be” arranged to “push” the gospel element of the pop favorite, the duo showed in fully display the explosive power of two pianos played together. Rachmaninoff’s “The Night ... the Love” from Fantaisie-Tableaux was dreamy in its evocative romanticism as the two pianists gazed into each other’s eyes across their pianos.
The highlight of the evening was the performance of Piazzolla’s “Oblivion” and “Libertango” played by four hands on one piano. In a sensually charged performance, the two pianists shared the keys, performing a sultry tango between their hands and arms. Manipulating the piano, fingers reaching into the innards of the grand piano, to produce the effect of pizzicato on the violin, the duo’s performance of the Piazzolla pieces were visually mesmerizing.
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What followed the intermission was a young, volcanic piano duo ― Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe, virtuosi who met at Julliard and who now tour the world presenting a torrent of genres. A rapturous "Ave Maria" by Shubert, a near honky-tonk rendition of "Let It Be" by the Beatles and a driving tango were among the works as the audience kept demanding they play on. The performance (they almost sat in each other's laps) was muscular with Ms. Roe's long dark ponytail and sinuous arms flying around the dueling Steinways.
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GOOD NEWS LIVERPOOL: Review: Anderson & Roe And Christian Lindberg With The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
SUPERSTAR piano duo Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe practically blew the roof off the Liverpool Phil’s Music Room in a recital they gave on Monday. On Thursday they returned to join the orchestra on the main stage in a performance of the Concerto for Two Pianos by Francis Poulenc, along with conductor Christian Lindberg.
Anderson and Roe are tremendously charismatic and insanely talented, and the Poulenc concerto was a great piece to demonstrate some of their stylistic range. Poulenc is noted for injecting a stiff dose of playfulness into his work, and parts of the two-piano concerto at times feel almost like music to a silent comedy film. But even in the same movement the mood changes to something far more languid and thoughtful, and the liquid playing from the pair of pianos nestled in an embrace on the forestage was simply exquisite. After a similarly reflective, shorter centre movement, the finale returns to spikier passages, eventually returning us via a reflection of the opening to a sharp and witty conclusion. Throughout they were accompanied with flair by the RLPO.
Demonstrating their showmanship and obvious love of playing, the duo then treated the audience to not one but two encores. Piazzola’s Libertango and the Beatles’ Let it Be, both in their own arrangements, giving us a glimpse of other aspects of their extensive repertoire of both material and performance methods.
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