REVIEW: Father and Son at the Piano

“Piano for Two Large Hands and Two Small Ones” by Wisman the Elder and Wisman the Younger, performed by the composers.

The indeterminate display featured amorphic responsorial effects, laced with motivated sequences. In an atypical situation, the players performed with Wisman the Younger sitting on the lap of his compositional partner, Wisman the Elder.

The piece’s blatantly arrhythmic, improvisatory nature nevertheless had reckless forward motion, thanks to the relentless, eager pounding of the Younger’s technique, a certain joie de vivre hard to maintain and not often matched in duo performances.

The Younger craftily contrasted a narrow range with tonal ambiguity, though the lengths of the chords remained consistent. On the extreme ends of the keyboard, the Elder provided reactions to the Younger’s explorations , offering variations, quotations and reactions to the proffered musical material.

Moments of contemplative listening led to exhilarated vocalizations, added a further dimension to the piece’s density and complexity.

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