Bax & Chung Piano Duo

£12.00

The real life marriage of two great concert pianists, Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung, has led to one of the leading piano duos of their generation. To cite the UK magazine Music and Arts, “Theirs is a marriage of wondrous colours and dextrous aplomb, subtly balanced to make a musical performance sound as one.”

Stavinsky’s Pétrouchka was originally arranged for four-hands by the composer as a rehearsal score for the Ballet Russes production of the same name, but in this stripped-down it brings Stravinsky’s melodic, rhythmic and harmonic inventiveness to the fore.  Brahms’s 16 Waltzes Op.39 are an enchanting collection of Romantic miniatures that simultaneously nod to the musical lineage of the composer’s home in Vienna whilst asserting his own flair and individuality. The final four tangos by Piazzolla are a full of Argentine flair and vigour, and were arranged especially for this recording by Bax & Chung.

SKU: SIGCD365

What people are saying

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As I listened to Libertango’s sultry introductory pages unravel, its tempo increase, and the finale’s peroration whirl about with the utmost in controlled ardour, I wished that Piazzolla had been alive to hear it as well. Superb annotations and engineering make the Bax Chung duo debut CD all the more auspicious." Gramophone

Alessio Bax, Lucille Chung Piano Four Hands

Release date:9th Dec 2013
Order code:SIGCD365
Barcode: 635212036525

Pardon the cliche, but here’s a husband- and-wife piano duo who make beautiful music together. In Stravinsky’s duet reduction of Petrushka, Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung do not attempt to replicate orchestral dynamic levels. Instead they apply their effortless synchronicity to unlocking the music’s pianistic potential, aiming for textural clarity and colouristic variety as they shape the catchy melodies with maximum lilt and characterful accentuation.

Newly minted colours, inner voices and highlighted bass-lines emerge from Brahms’s Op.39 Waltzes with minimum sustain pedal and maximum tonal imagination. True, they hold back in Nos.5 and 14, while ritards at phrase-ends and cadences grow increasingly predictable, as do No 11’s arch tenutos. Yet felicities abound, as in No.5’s uncommonly animated tempo and whimsical changes of voicing on the repeats, No.8’s gently sweeping long line (too many duos bear down on each down-beat) or the graceful reserve of Nos.7 and 16.

Although the smoky underpinnings of Piazzolla’s tango idiom usually lose their edge via classical interpreters, Bax and Chung internalise this composer’s rhythmic syntax to the point where syncopations pack an understated punch and curvaceous melodies offhandedly slip by in the manner of a master actor who knows how to throwaway a good line. As I listened to Libertango’s sultry introductory pages unravel, its tempo increase, and the finale’s peroration whirl about with the utmost in controlled ardour, I wished that Piazzolla had been alive to hear it as well. Superb annotations and engineering make the BaxlChung duo debut CD all the more auspicious. 

Gramophone, Jed Distler

Winner of the 2000 Leeds Piano Competition, Alessio Bax, joins with his wife, Lucille Chung, in their award winning piano duo. Technically superb and perfectly balanced, they revel in the brilliant virtuosity of Piazzolla’s seductive tangos, and give loving performances of the Brahms waltzes. Equally enjoyable in Stravinsky’s four-hand version made for rehearsing the ballet, Petrouchka, but the work falls far short of the excitement generated in his Three Movements extracted for solo piano. The sound is a bit ‘pingy’ in the upper octaves. 

Yorkshire Post

  1. P?trouchka: First Tableau: The Shrove-Tide Fair – Igor Stravinsky – 6.49
  2. P?trouchka: First Tableau: Russian Dance – Igor Stravinsky – 2.38
  3. P?trouchka: Second Tableau: Petrouchka?s Cell – Igor Stravinsky – 3.52
  4. P?trouchka: Third Tableau: The Moor?s Cell – Igor Stravinsky – 6.14
  5. P?trouchka: Fourth Tableau: The Shrove-Tide Fair (evening) – Igor Stravinsky – 12.47
  6. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 1 in B major (Tempo giusto) – Johannes Brahms – 0.41
  7. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 2 in E major – Johannes Brahms – 1.04
  8. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 3 in G-sharp minor – Johannes Brahms – 0.37
  9. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 4 in E minor (Poco sostenuto) – Johannes Brahms – 0.59
  10. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 5 in E major – Johannes Brahms – 1.11
  11. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 6 in C-sharp major (Vivace) – Johannes Brahms – 1.02
  12. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 7 in C-sharp minor (Poco piu? andante) – Johannes Brahms – 2.00
  13. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 8 in B-flat major – Johannes Brahms – 1.03
  14. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 9 in D minor – Johannes Brahms – 1.18
  15. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 10 in G major – Johannes Brahms – 0.30
  16. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 11 in B minor – Johannes Brahms – 1.12
  17. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 12 in E major – Johannes Brahms – 1.40
  18. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 13 in C major – Johannes Brahms – 0.32
  19. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 14 in A minor – Johannes Brahms – 1.09
  20. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No. 15 in A major – Johannes Brahms – 1.18
  21. 16 Waltzes, Op. 39: No.16 in D minor – Johannes Brahms – 0.48
  22. Lo que vendr? – Astor Piazzolla, arr. Bax & Chung – 3.58
  23. Milonga del ?ngel – Astor Piazzolla, arr. Bax & Chung – 5.46
  24. Tango No.2 – Astor Piazzolla, arr. Bax & Chung – 4.49
  25. Libertango – Astor Piazzolla, arr. Bax & Chung – 4.20