REVIEW: The Kapsetakis Duo at Bristol Cathedral, by John Packwood 9/10
THE remarkable twin sisters Stephanie and Marianna began their musical studies at the Conservatory of Music in Crete where they received diplomas with the highest honours as they also did from the Music School of Heraklion on graduating at 18.
After winning numerous prizes in Greece, they received scholarships from the Schillizi Foundation to enable them to continue their studies at the Royal Academy of Music and Kings College, London.
The recital came under the title The Thrill of an Angel and this title was particularly apt in that whilst some of the music was angelic there were times when the powerful playing sounded awesome.
After the pair had played a short Prelude and Fugue by Bach Stephanie presented two well known pieces by Chopin.
Firstly the rumbustious B Flat Scherzo which was written and published in 1837 and was dedicated to Countess Adele Furstenstein.
Schumann compared it to a Byronic poem as it was overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contentment.
There followed the Polonaise- Fantaisie which tested the pianist's skills with lots of powerful moods and variations.
Stephanie played both pieces with considerable skill
It was now the turn of Marianna with her solo spot.
She started with Mendelssohn's Variations serieuse which was completed in 1841.
It was composed to raise funds to erect a large bronze statue to Beethoven in his home town of Bonn.
Other composers offered works to help in this project. A serious opening leads into different speeds as the variations unfold.
Liszt's B minor Ballade is considered to be one of the composer's finest piano compositions and is supposedly based on the story of Hero and Leander.
It starts in the lower regions with arpeggios on the left hand with the tune above. The piece reaches a stormy climax after a terrific build-up. Chopin's famous Etude opus 25 no 12 finished Marianna's section in which she showed some tremendous playing.
A rather unusual arrangement of Nimrod in which there were some unusual sound effects ended this interesting recital.