Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble: Elements Of London

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‘A totally enchanting album of distinctive new music. Engaging, evocative and finely-structured pieces by Hugh Shrapnel and John Lewis are performed with elegance and panache by Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble.’ – Sarah Walker (BBC Radio 3 presenter)

 

Description

About this release

Influenced by minimalism and jazz blues, the piano duets present an exciting mix of driving rhythms contrasted by lyrical writing. Hugh Shrapnel’s compelling narrative stems from London and its history, whereas John Lewis’ chemical elements are used to create highly reactive, even explosive music.

Programme notes

Square Blues

This is the first of a set of four duets written for the Shrapnel/Lewis Piano Duo. These pieces are a reflection of my love of jazz and, as befits a ‘square’ classical musician a more or less complete lack of ‘swing’.

Niobium

Niobium is a ‘steely’ metal and the piece reflects this – brutal stamping chords and fanfares with many flattened fifths, and much use of the ‘octatonic’ scale. Irregular silences and briefer, quiet sections give contrast, but the threatening mood returns, until the very last inconsequential last chord.

Ladywell Station

The idea behind this piece was the observation by my friend, the late Georgie Wise, who once pointed out that this station has a delightfully old fashioned Edwardian look about it. With the woodland like view of the trees in Ladywell Fields from the far platform of the old station building (built I believe in the 1860s), you could almost believe you had arrived at a country station circa 1908. With that in mind I wrote the piece, attempting to depict this atmosphere with sounds of twittering birds, old steam trains and train whistles. The piece is dedicated to Georgie. Read more

Notes by Hugh Shrapnel and John Lewis.

About the artists

Ivory Piano Duo Ensemble

Panayotis Archontides & Natalie Tsaldarakis are the Greek pianists behind the highly successful husband-and-wife Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble. Their engaging and highly communicative approach to performance for piano four-hands and for two pianos “reveals extraordinary interpretative powers carried with conviction and authority” (Athens News).

Between 2007 and 2011, Natalie and Panayotis toured the UK performing the complete Mozart works for piano duet and two-pianos (St John’s Smith Square, Jaqueline du Pré concert hall, St-Martin-in-the- Fields, St-James Piccadilly and Winchester Cathedral). Although they maintain an ecclectic approach to repertoire, they are especially known for their championing of contemporary classical composers, many of whom have written specifically for the duo, such as Lola Perrin, Michael Travlos, Hugh Shrapnel, Nikos Drelas, Thomi Baltsavia, Elif Karlidag, Douglas Finch, and others. Panayotis is also a published arranger who produces the film scores heard in their concerts. Read more

Visit website: ivoryduopiano.com

  • Square Blues - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Niobium - John Lewis
  • Ladywell Station - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Lewisham Market - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Chlorine - John Lewis
  • Praseodymium - John Lewis
  • 3rd Lamp post in Tressillian Road - Hugh Shrapnel
  • At the Rivol - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Hunt Hunt - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Bromine - John Lewis
  • Cerium - John Lewis
  • Mercury - John Lewis
  • In memory of Jane Clousen - Hugh Shrapnel
  • The Lewisham People's Commission - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Fluorine - John Lewis
  • Creekside - Hugh Shrapnel
  • Phosphorus - John Lewis
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Credits

Catalogue number: CR055

Composer Hugh Shrapnel & John Lewis
Pianists Ivory Duo Piano Ensemble
Piano Steinway & Sons
Engineering & Editing Adaq Khan
Mastering Adaq Khan
Recording Location Air Edel Recording Studios
Programme Notes Hugh Shrapnel & John Lewis
Artist Photography Marte Lundby Rekaa
Cover Image Zara Wilkins
Creative Director Mike Cooter
Executive Producer Adrian Green

Further information

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