A Wide Expressive Range

The first thing that strikes you about the piano-duet partnership of Dina Duisen and Martin James Bartlett is their immaculate ensemble - Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK, 22 December 2019. This was evident from the start of Mozart's Sonata in D, K 381, where the spirit of comic opera was never far away, in the helter-skelter opening movement, the aria-like Andante, and the energetic romp of a finale. Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite No 1, in the composer's own transcription, began with a 'Morning Mood' full of delicate, subtle touches. These continued into 'Åse's Death', though this turned somewhat clangorous in the middle. 'Anitra's Dance' was treated as more of a waltz than I've previously heard

A piano duo with charisma and virtuosity

If it’s exciting to hear a star pianist on top form, it’s more exciting to hear two of them playing together on the same piano. And the pulse races even faster if a fire scare at their rehearsal venue meant that they almost didn’t make it to the Royal Concert Hall at all. As it was, they came running in late, the account of their adventure making it sound as if concert dress was still being buttoned as they emerged onto the platform. It all sounded rather hair-raising. Our two intrepid artists were Martin James Bartlett and Dina Duisen, two pianists already known separately to Sunday morning regulars at the RCH but brought together to perform a range of festive music for one piano, four h

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