To pianists, Chopin’s formidable Études have always seemed akin to waterboarding. Canadian pianist Louis Lortie certainly earned his place among those who attempt them by recording the entire set in 1986, and since then has made the program an important component of his career.
The world of music for two pianists is a rarified one. Established as an art form in the Mozart family for its two talented children, then popularized by Schubert at coffeehouses in Vienna, and finally made immortal by Brahms, the two-piano/four-hands repertoire has occupied an important but often neglected corner in the vast richness of piano music. The Milton and Peggy Salkind International Piano Duo Festival celebrates that repertoire.