BRUGALLA & STAMBOLOV PIANO DUO
CLASSICAL / CONTEMPORARY
COLUMNA MUSICA (COM0410 02)
Ballet is a graphic art — black and white, finely framed strokes, carved in the space of
the stage through the shape of bodies; disappearing and reappearing enigmatic poses, gestures
and figures. Let’s transfer this idea to the piano keyboard — white and black swans; seven Odiles
and five Odettes on the narrow stage of the octave. The pirouettes and fouettes of the fingers,
the port de bras of both hands, the skillful variations and the wondrous hand-over-hand leaps
crossing the entire keyboard... Here, before my eyes appears a vision: a rare archival film from
1927 of Sergei Prokofiev’s hands performing a stunning silent ballet on the keyboard. Dancingly,
eloquently, physically malleable, he depicts the music of the Finale of Piano Sonata No. 4 with
the detached precision of a sleep-walker, a man possessed.
Let’s now multiply this impression by two. And here it is! A whole network of dancing, sliding,
intertwining, jumping and rushing hands; fingers frozen still like greyhounds before a race. Agile
bouncing from piano to piano, something like the exquisite game of tennis in Debussy’s late
ballet masterpiece, Jeux, or his suite for two pianos En blanc et noir. The white and the black,
the sun and the shadow — white and black ballet. The graphic Metamorphoses by M. C. Escher
and his selfdrawing hands...
The aerial pas de deux of two seemingly clumsy instruments. The piano duo is not the
mechanical sum of two identical or very similarly built instruments; it IS a new instrument in
itself, a centaur-like assemblage of two people, two grand pianos, four hands, 176 keys, twenty
fingers; dancing acoustics, complex and ever-changing tonal aggregates.