The theatricality of the combination of 2 pianos or a piano four-hands, with all of its expressive capabilities, colour palette and virtuosic effects, served as the perfect medium to express the magical world of stories, feelings, destiny and everything else the fascinating world of theatre hides.
Music and theatre often create an indivisible whole. To paraphrase Hans Christian Andersen: Where words stop, music speaks, as the music element is the one we most often connect to renowned plays on the scene. Sometimes we only need one musical motif to be reminded of the plot of a play and brought into its atmosphere. What would the modern story of Romeo and Juliet, brought into 20th century New York, be without Bernstein’s brilliant score? Or the story of the tragic love of the Spanish gypsy Salud that is betrayed by a member of the aristocracy, her beloved señorito Paco, without the authentic Andalusian music idiom by Manuel de Falla? The master of Croatian music theatre Alfi Kabiljo reminds us of interesting anecdotes from Croatian history with picturesque music in his musicals The King is Naked and Emperor Franz Joseph in Zagreb, as well as the adventures of the legendary seducer Casanova in the opera Casanova in Istria, turned into a 3 part suite. It is a special honour that the suite was created with our encouragement and that we premiered it in Madrid in 2014. Darius Milhaud responded to similar encouragements, fulfilling the needs for the World exhibition in Paris in 1937, by creating an unavoidable part of the contemporary repertoire for 2 pianos dedicated for the piano duo Marcelle Meyer – Ida Jankelevich: the legendary suite Scaramouche – alluding to the character from the Italian commedie dell’arte and the name of the theatre on Champs-Elysée, and combining the elements of already existing scene music from his own work for Moliere’s Hypochondriac. On this CD we bring a selection of instrumental parts from operas, musicals, and music written for drama plays that grew far above their own purposes and gained life in concert stages as stand-alone works. Even without the background stories of these works, each of them kept their theatrical nature, most noticeable in their rhythmic charge, melodic invention and attraction. The theatricality of the combination of 2 pianos or a piano four-hands, with all of its expressive capabilities, colour palette and virtuosic effects, served as the perfect medium to express the magical world of stories, feelings, destiny and everything else the fascinating world of theatre hides.
Dubravka Vukalović i Bruno Vlahek
About the artists
A passion for the piano and the creativity of playing together brought Dubravka Vukalović and Bruno Vlahek together into D&B Piano Duo. Their first concert as a duo in Lausanne in 2006 was an instant success and was praised for the extraordinary performance of two piano works by Rachmaninov and Bernstein. Having met during their soloist studies at the Lausanne Conservatory of Music, they were mentored as a duet by Swedish pianist and chamber music expert Dag Achatz. Since then, their popularity has been constantly growing through a series of appearances in cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dubai, Berlin, London, Geneva, New York, Palma de Mallorca, Shenzhen, Madrid or Monte-Carlo – where they became laureates of the Monaco’s International Competition for Piano-Four Hands in 2013. In the same year they made their Asian debut, having performed in some of the finest concert venues in China, where critics highlighted the „brilliant virtuosity of their dialogue“. They were the first Croatian pianists to perform the monumental cycle Visions de l’Amen by Olivier Messiaen which they presented at the 50th anniversary of the Music Biennale Zagreb. Their performances were broadcast on TV and radio stations internationally. In their repertoire, which consists of original works and arrangements for piano four – hands and two pianos, the works of living composers have an important place, some of which are dedicated specially to them. They are appointed professors at the Katarina Gurska Conservatory in Madrid and give masterclasses throughout world.