Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax | Classical | Chicago Reader

Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax Recommended Free All Ages Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., May 20, 12:15 p.m. 2009

Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung met in 1997 at Japan’s Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (won by Bax), united as a piano duo at the 2003 Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, and married in 2004. They regularly depart from their substantial solo careers to perform the four-hands and two-piano repertoire. Duo piano is a balancing act, and while the fiery Chung and the less demonstrative and more reflective Bax may have more to balance than most, that’s part of their appeal. This piano four hands recital opens with Schubert’s powerful Fantasy in F Minor, D. 940. Written in the last year of the composer’s life, it’s an emotionally turbulent work, darkened by the tragic shadow that hangs over most late Schubert. Next Bax and Chung will play excerpts—“Danse Russe” and “The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)”—from the original version of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka; because the composer wrote at the piano, there are versions of much of his music for piano, piano four hands, or two pianos. The concert ends with Bax-Chung arrangements of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango no. 2 and “Libertango,” the latter a high-voltage adaptation that sacrifices some of the composer’s soul to four-handed virtuosity. —Steve Langendorf

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