Busy weekend for piano duo

South Surrey
South Surrey's Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann are slated to perform this weekend all over Metro Vancouver.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann – the Bergmann Piano Duo – became South Surrey residents only last year.

But the wife-husband team of world-class classical musicians, originally based in Calgary, have rapidly become involved in the Greater Vancouver music scene.

Just how involved is evident from a busy upcoming weekend of concerts for the pair.

On Friday at 10:30 a.m. they'll be performing at the Silk Purse in West Vancouver in a four-hands-one-piano concert featuring lively idiomatic music by Bernstein, Brahms, De Falla and Dvorak.

On Saturday at 8 p.m., they'll be at the Orpheum in Vancouver, participating with the Vancouver Bach Choir in a performance of Stravinsky's 20th century masterpiece Les Noces (1923), written for four pianos, vocal soloists, choir and percussion.

"This work is rarely heard because of its overall demands on all the performers, as well as the highly unusual instrumentation," said Elizabeth, who also serves as artistic director of concerts and director of summer programs for the Langley Community Music School.

"What's more, the performance will feature the original Russian version."

Also on the program of the Orpheum concert is an original work by Marcel, who continues to commute to Hamilton, Ont. for his post as professor of music at Mohawk College.

Called Midsummer Flower, it's a piece for two pianos, percussion and choir.

Closer to home, the duo will perform Sunday at the Langley Community Music School as part of the Cafe Classico concerts series. The program begins at 3 p.m. with a pre-concert chat with the performers, followed by the concert itself, at 4 p.m.

"We will be performing some of the gems of the four-hand literature," Elizabeth said.

These will include Brahms Waltzes Op. 39, Schubert's famous F Minor Fantasy, Gershwin's all-time hit Rhapsody in Blue and some new arrangements by Marcel of music from West Side Story.

"We have played his two-piano arrangement of these pieces for many years, but he only recently arranged some excerpts for one piano and four hands," she said.



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