A review of the Cann twins’ concert in the Hayward Theatre on Friday 6th March 2015

Why travel to Cambridge or London? Within the heart of our fair city of Ely a number of first-rate concerts are held in the Hayward Theatre on a regular basis as part of the King’s School Concert Series. One of these concerts took place last night and, as expected, it was very well worth attending.
These amazing twins gave us a delightful evening of piano music, played for the most part on two separate grand pianos and from memory. Their tremendous technique, empathy with the music and between each other and their meaningful expression gave the music extra warmth and accessibility.
They played works by Shostakovich, Cui, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Rimsky Korsakoff, Rachmaninoff and Gershwin. They also included a fascinating work of their own called ‘Black and White Suite’ in which Tony played the trumpet for the first ‘Fanfare’ movement.
The evening opened with ‘Concertino for Two Pianos’ by Shostakovich and these phenomenal pianists brought his sounds to life, whether spiky, sonorous, or robust. An exquisite ‘Notturno’ by Cui followed and then their arrangement of three movements from Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ Suite recalled this very popular music clearly. It was easy to imagine the fluttering swans with the precision and flow of their playing.
A dazzling piano duet of Liszt’s ‘Hungarian Rhapsody no 2’ ended the first half of this popular programme.
With amazing skill they whizzed through the ‘Flight of the Bumble Bee’ by Rimsky Korsakoff to being the second half of the programme. Then the origins of the ‘Tarantella’ – music composed to represent jittery dancing inspired by the fearful tarantula spider was perfectly portrayed in the second movement of their offering by Rachmaninoff. The first movement: ‘Romance’, was ‘romantic’ indeed with moments of heightened passion as the music flowed.
The evening culminated with Percy Grainger’s arrangement of ‘Fantasia on Porgy and Bess’ and it was wonderful to hear all those favourite songs brought to light again, such as ‘Summer time’ and ‘Bess, you is my woman now’. These exceptional ladies had no problem with Gershwin’s unique harmonic texture and syncopated style.
A short encore: The Chinese Dance ended a most enjoyable evening.
The next King’s Ely Concert Society event is on 7th May, featuring pianist Antony Peebles.
Contacts: Performing Arts Administrator tel: 01353 653931 sophiecollier@kingsely.org


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