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May 6, 2011

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Turkish delights of twin sisters act

TURKISH twin sisters Ferhan and Ferzan Onder will present the art of piano duos in a concert next week, playing Vivaldi, Liszt, Piazzola and others to demonstrate the range of the piano as a percussion instrument.

The performance Thursday at Shanghai Concert Hall will feature Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody," Brahms' "Hungarian Dance," Zeigler's "Tango Asfalto" and Piazzola's "Tango Soledado" and "Libertango."

"Piazzola is quite an amazing modern musician who reformed the traditional tango by adding elements of both classical and jazz music. To some extent we play the piano like a percussion instrument in his works," the Onders said in a statement.

"The Four Seasons" is their favorite and they arranged the duo version, raising the piece by two octaves and adding more vibrato.

"We tried our best to present the picture of four seasons, including a dog barking in spring, feeling tired in summer and a sleeping drunken man in autumn," they said.

Piano duos are demanding, not only because of the individual techniques, but also the need for tacit mutual understanding and cooperation between the partners.

This partly explains why many mature and steady piano duo partnerships are usually couples, sisters or fathers and sons.

As twin sisters, the Onders are in step with each other but emphasize that retaining individual styles rather than pursuing similarity is important in making piano duos rich and colorful.

"We work on the harmony of sounds and always discuss how to achieve it. We each bring new ideas to our work," they said.

The sisters also perform separately with various orchestras and vocalists.

"We learn breathing techniques when working with vocalists, catching rhythms when working with percussionists, and balancing when working with choral musicians. Since the piano is usually loud, we always have to find the balance point for harmonic sound."

Date: May 12, 7:30pm

Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan'an Rd E.

Ticket: 80-380 yuan

Tel: 6217-2426, 6217-3055


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