K365 in E flat & K242 in F
Silver-Garburg Piano Duo/Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra
ABC Classics 481 0245 (K365) / 481 0244 (K242)
reviewed by Neville Cohn
While the international concert circuit is clogged with innumerable solo pianists, fine piano duos of high ability are much less frequently encountered.
Rawicz and Landauer were arguably the most famous of all piano duos of the 20th century. Living and working in Vienna in the 1930s, they were fortunate enough to find refuge in the UK where they were initially interned on the Isle of Man. Their records sold in the millions.
Bracha Eden and Alexander Tamir, husband and wife duo, were for decades Israel’s most celebrated piano duo. Now, that crown has passed to a younger husband-and-wife team Sivan Silver and Gil Garburg, both of whom are sabras. They studied primarily with Ari Vardi at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv. They are now based in Berlin from where they maintain a busy international career. They also teach at the Hanover Musikhochschule.
Recently, they gave acclaimed concerts in Tasmania and along Australian’s east coast. Incidentally, the Silver-Garburg duo should not be confused with the Viney-Grinberg duo which is based in Queensland.
Although Perth audiences have yet to have the pleasure of hearing the Silver-Garburg duo ‘live’, we can, in the meantime, listen to the pair in superlative performances on the ABC Classics label of two Mozart concertos, both recorded with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Alexander Mickelthwate.
Listening to the duo instantly recalls the artistry of that other famed Mozart interpreter Lili Kraus. The perfect fluency of their passagework, the clarity and silvery tone of presentation mark the duo instantly as of the highest calibre.
Mozart’s Concerto in F, K242 was originally conceived as a concerto for three pianos and in this form was presented at Sydney Opera House some years ago in a performance that featured the late Hazel Hawke as one of the three soloists. The Silver-Garburg performance is of Mozart’s own adaptation of the work for two pianists.
This is impeccable playing but it is the duo’s recording of Mozart’s Concerto K 365 that scales the heights. This recording is a frankly magnificent achievement. The three movements call to mind a chaplet of flawlessly facetted gems. Stylistically, it is beyond reproach. Alexander Mickelthwate presides over an on-form Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. This CD should be in the collection of every Mozart aficionado.