Guher and Suher Pekinel: Live in Concert
DVD + Blu-ray
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The duo performs in live concerts from London, Luzerne, and Zurich in works by Mozart, Poulenc, Mihaud, Lutoslawski, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Bach, and Vivaldi, with the English Chamber Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Muhai Tang, and Ja
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DVD play the narrative portion (words by Guher and Suher)
first before playing there fantastic piano works.
You will not be remissed by purchasing this DVD
The performance of the Mozart Concerto, with Sir Colin Davis leading the English Chamber Orchestra, is as marvelous as any I've ever heard. The Pekinels and the ECO are in perfect harmony. The Poulenc Concerto is marked by exceedingly fast tempi in the outer movements but are done with exceeding élan which, of course, they require. The middle movement is sultry and exotic.
The Paganini Variations of Lutoslawski are given a brilliant performance. The Brahms Two Piano Sonata, which is the precursor to its final form as Brahms's Piano Quintet, has never been my cup of tea largely because I much prefer the Piano Quintet version. But the Pekinels bring a studied earnestness to it that makes a good case for it.
The Pekinel twins use an unusual stage set-up. Their pianos are not nested as in most two-piano concerts with orchestra, nor are they side-by-side as in most two-piano recitals. They both face the same direction but are staggered so that neither pianist can see the other's face or hands. This arrangement is, as far as I know, unique to the Pekinels and they describe their preference for it in the booklet notes. It certainly does not hamper their ensemble. Each of them has an unfortunate habit of accentuating their playing with silent rhythmic puh-puh-puh mouth motions and possibly for this reason the cameras tend to focus on their hands or on shots from over their right shoulders so that this tic is not too distracting.
Among the extras are some trailers or short clips featuring bits of performances with Jacques Loussier in Bach, a bit of the Rachmaninoff Suite, an arrangement of one of the movements of Vivaldi's Seasons, and some jazz. There is also an interview (in German with subtitles) that is printed word-for-word in the booklet, and an artsy-fartsy short documentary about the Pekinels. All these are insignificant and do not particularly detract from the main attractions of the DVD.
Total time: Concert selections 88mins; extras 42 mins; Sound PCM stereo; Subtitles: English, German, French, Spanish, Turkish; Format: 16:9; Region 0 (worldwide); NTSC