An unforgettable night with Carles & Sofia
January 28, 2016 | Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York
Reviewed by Edward Martin
Reviewed by Edward Martin
Carles Lama and Sofia Cabruja are widely known as the undisputed kings of four hands performances on the classical piano. Their inherent virtuosity always seeks to serve the meeting of two souls in communion with the audience (miles away from the superficiality derived from today’s fashionable ‘show-off’). They inhabit the mood of each piece with a quintessential sense of both deepness and drama, so it may come to life and fill up the viewers’ senses.
Before these two world-acclaimed Steinway artists gave their recent sold out performance at the Carnegie Hall, they worked very hard on an exclusive four hands piano sheet music especially transcribed for them by composer Abraham Espinosa. This new rendition of Enrique Granados’ ‘Goyescas’ is a highly virtuosic score as it contains a dense texture full of ornaments. It is, by far, technically more complex than Enrique Granados’ original manuscript from the piano solo work of the same name.
It is undoubtedly worth mentioning that Granados’ ‘Goyescas’ world premiere was released in New York’s Metropolitan Opera House on 28th January 28 1916. For this reason, Carles & Sofia wanted to pay tribute to the famous Catalan composer on 28th January 2016 on the occasion of the 100th at their Carnegie Hall concert.
A major success in New York
The first part of their concert at the Carnegie Hall featured their own version of Enrique Granados’ ‘Goyescas’. Carles & Sofia accurately combine their innate talent with a judiciously contained lyricism. The natural rubato phrasing and the wise choice of tempo allows them to
develop the complex texture of the score with an effortless fluidity. No detail is missing regarding the theatrical characterization throughout the whole performance. They give ‘Goyescas’ a previously unknown extra dimension by walking the path of interpretative maturity.
In the second half of the concert Carles & Sofia gave a very special gift to all of us present. They performed ‘Adagio’ from Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 plus Ravel’s ‘La Valse’. The mentioned Symphony is considered one of the finest works ever written by the Russian-American composer.
Once again, Carles & Sofia deployed their natural capacity for reaching and moving the audience. Their truthful expressive strength (as well as a very fine conducting) left us all with a hung jaw.
In order to end the event brilliantly they chose Ravel’s technically challenging and infernal ‘La Valse’ (one of the musical pieces for which they are best remembered). Their playing filled the Carnegie Hall with a distinctive French aroma full of subtle colorful sounds that contrasted with the diabolic climax in which they displayed their rhythmic ability and highly regarded technical virtuosity.
Swept along by the enthusiasm of the audience Carles &Sofia kindly answered with two encores: ‘Dance No.1’ from Manuel de Falla’s ‘La Vida Breve’ and Ernesto Lecuona’s ‘La Malagueña’. The long standing ovation at the end of the concert was a well deserved one. A perfect ending to an unforgettable night.