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Leo van Doeselaar

At the start of the 2001-2002 season, Jordans | van Doeselaar have reflected upon their twenty-five years together as a pianoduo. Throughout this period, they have watched their collection of music for four hands expanding; so much that any doubts they may have had in 1997 regarding the quantity of works for quatre-mains, have been abundantly dispelled.

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Jordans | van Doeselaar have become well aware that the playing of 19C compositions for four hands have been, and remain, the most frequently performed even well into the 20th century; they are still by far and away the simplest and most popular means of making music in the home. All the important, and indeed the less important, works for ochestra were arranged at the behest of the great music publishers. By such means at the time, it became possible in the most pleasant, practical manner to enjoy the same master works outside the concert hall, just as we are able these days to experience them at the mere flick of a button.

 They continue to extend their repertoire with these authentic and very beautiful renderings of orchestral masterpieces. It is fortunate that nearly all the great composers had written specifically for four hands.

“Our absolute favourites range from the first Viennese School (Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert), to the original music written for four hands, as well as to the many brilliant quatre-mains arrangements from la Belle Époque; continuing into that restless period for the arts in Paris at the start of this past century. It follows that the pieces we have selected for these four programmes are those e are particularly fond of.”

25 years duo2

1.  Bric-a-brac
An adaptation of Camille Saint-Saens'  Le Carnaval des Animaux for four hands. Alfred Cortot's quatre-mains arrangement of the César Franck Violon Sonata, Milhaud's own arrangement of the swinging Boeuf sur le Toit. These musical trinkets, which have all been dug out from the little second-hand music shops of Paris, find their place also in the Jubilee CD, due out in 2002.

2.  Ballets Russes
Original ballet music, arranged for four hands by the composers themselves: Stravinsky's Petrushk, Parade by Satie, Prelude a l' Apres-midi d'une Faune by Debussy (in the Maurice Ravel arrangement) and the music from the sensational ballet, Spectre de la Rose, Von Weber's Auffordering zum Tanz (early 19C arrangement). The CD covering this programma has been made in co-operation with the BBC.

3. Ludwig van Beethoven
All his quatre-mains compositions coupled with early 19C abreviations of his Fourth Symphony and the overture, Egmont. These arrangements, with several other of the symphonies, were made at the behest of the London Philharmonic Society. The Fourth Symphony was already printed in this form well before the orchestral score!

4.  Franz Schubert
A fully dedicated Franz Schubert programme includes Lebensstürm, Andantino Varié, Theme and Variations in A flat and of course the unsurpassed Fantasy in F minor.

On the eve of the Bach year 2000, the Jordans | van Doeselaar pianoduo was warmly praised by the critics:

• • •   Jordans | van Doeselaar flawless playing & scintillating musicianship – Trouw

• • •   magnificent, celebratory, poignant, beautiful music, assuredly through the lovely playing and the sheer pleasure of performing by the pianoduo Jordans | van Doeselaar – Luister

• • •   Jordans | van Doeselaar uplift these arrangements by their infectious musicality far above the museological – Telegraaf

• • •   Also the CD (not to be missed) of the Bach arrangements from the hand of none other than Max Reger and played superlatively as ever by the pianoduo Jordans | van Doeselaar – Volkskrant

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