Piano madness

Playing one instrument at “supervirtuoso” level is pretty good. Playing two is stupendous. Two such polymaths (whose CV’s reveal various other impressive skills), are Arnaldo Cohen from Brazil, and David Stanhope from Australia.

Arnaldo Cohen - fingerbusting

David Stanhope - a little light reading
Cohen is a phenomenally exciting pianist (and violinist).  His Liszt CD on Naxos, contains three performances which simply knock your socks off: the Saint-Saens Danse Macabre transcription, the  Reminiscences des Huguenots and the mighty Totentanz. His other recordings are similarly great, but this one contains all-time classic performances.

Stanhope, conductor, composer, horn player and occasional pianist, is slightly less visceral, but has a glittering technique with superb rhythm and dash. His piano CD’s include a great performance of Godowsky’s immense Passacaglia, rarely tackled at all; Percy Grainger’s Maguire’s Kick on a one take disc of fabulous transcriptions, and a blistering version of  the Felix Mendelssohn/Franz Liszt Wedding March and Elves’ Dance from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Three CD’s, crammed with exceptional playing.


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