Dear Greg and Liz,
What would you say is your mission, exactly? You're both excellent pianists who try to break the mold and expose wider audiences to classical music, but I'd like to hear it in your words. And, on another, fairly unrelated subject, what do you know of the Liszt two piano versions of the operatic fantasies? I think that the antiphonal possibilities are gorgeously exploited in Norma, for example. Thanks
- Daniel Baker
We defined our mission several years ago, and it has literally shaped all of our decisions as individuals, as musicians, and as a team. So, bombs away:
Greg & Liz's mission:
- To connect with others; to engage, provoke, illuminate; to serve as a conduit for the composer's voice; to express our inner lives; to share the joy and fulfillment that only music can elicit
- To free the world from the constraints of sleep-inducing concerts
- To demonstrate that classical piano music can serve as a relevant and powerful force in society
As for Reminiscences de Norma, we urge you to purchase Greg's solo album, "On Wings of Song!" You'll find Greg playing the solo version there, and he continues to perform the work on many of his solo concerts. It would be unnecessarily confusing for him to learn both versions of the piece: a recipe for disaster. (It would be pretty embarrassing to slip into the two-piano version in the middle of a solo recital!) Similarly, although we used to play Ravel's La Valse in its two-piano version, we took it out of our performing repertoire when Liz started playing the solo version in concerts and competitions. Too confusing.
You're right; the antiphonal possibilities are wonderful in the two-piano version of Reminiscences de Norma, but (and a big "but" here), if we were to ever perform the work, Greg would insist upon recreating the six-or-so minutes of music that Liszt cut from the solo version in arranging the work. Liszt cut Greg's favorite arias (and the arias that add the most dramatic weight to the paraphrase, no less)!
Thanks for your interest in our work!