About this performance
Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story for Two Pianos and Percussion
John Arcaro timpani
Robert Cossom percussion
Louisa Breen piano
Leigh Harrold piano
These two works of dynamic energy take their inspiration from very different sources. Bartók’s studies of the densely-coloured folk music of Eastern Europe inspired him to enrich his rhythmic and harmonic palette to create music of alluring sensuality and gripping rhythmic élan.
For Bernstein, these qualities emerged from his feeling for Latin American music, and his own passionate response to the eternal love story that inspired his great musical. This suite of Symphonic Dances encapsulates the great moments of West Side Story, including Mambo, Cool and the tender Somewhere.
The vast sonorous capacities of the piano and percussion combination are exploited to full dramatic effect by Bartók and by Bernstein’s skilled arranger, Irwin Kostal.
Pictured: Robert Cossom | Image credit: Hugh Peachey