Natalia Lavrova and Vassily Primakov typically perform two-piano repertoire, but they used their February retreat to dip into the wealth of the music written for one piano, four hands. After a few days’ exploration, they chose two immense works on which to focus: Czerny’s Grand Sonata in F minor, Op. 178; and Milhaud’s Le Boeuf sur le toit, Op. 58 (The Ox on the Roof), a surrealist ballet score based on Brazilian popular music.
At the conclusion of the week they shared both works with us in an informal concert at Weatherwatch Farm. But before launching into them they warmed up with a “trifle”–Mozart’s Sonata in C Major, K. 521! Wouldn’t you know the only significant snowstorm of an otherwise benign winter occurred the day of their house-concert. The “hearty forty” who braved the elements were rewarded with an amazing and intimate performance displaying the highest level of technique and artistry and the greatest depth of inquiry and feeling. What an honor to have these extraordinarily talented, incredibly lovely artists with us.
Footnote: We attended Vassily’s solo concert on UVM’s Lane Series in mid-April, a formidable performance for a packed house. It was a special surprise when Natalia joined Vassily on-stage for an encore: Le Boeuf sur le toit, which they had prepared during their Hill and Hollow Music retreat. At the post-concert reception the duo was immediately engaged for next season–wow, one doesn’t see something like that every day!