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Wed 13 July 2016

1:00 pm • £10

Abbott O'Gorman Piano Duo

Sponsored by A J Bennewith & Co

Dvorak, Fauré, Bernstein, Barber & Grainger

Abbott O'Gorman Piano Duo
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Three Slavonic Dances

  • Op 46 No 1 in C
  • Op 72 No 2 in E minor
  • Op 46 No 7 in C minor


Three movements from "The Dolly Suite" op 56

  • Bercuse
  • Le Jardin de Dolly
  • Le Pas Espangnol


Scenes from "West Side Story"


Three movements from "Souvenirs" - Ballet Suite op 28

  • Hesitation - Tango
  • Pas de Deux
  • Two-Step

Percy Grainger

Fantasy on George Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”



Compared with their last visit four years ago, the concert by the Abbott O`Gorman Piano Duo on Wednesday 13th July was somewhat disappointing. Whereas the Review in July 2012 was very complimentary, it was felt that their latest recital left much to be desired.

Whilst allowing for an initial "warm up", the" Three Slavonic Dances" by Dvorak, appeared to set a trend of over pedalling, and the tendency for the "Primo" (right partner) to produce a strident forced tone whenever the music demanded an increase in passion or intensity.

Being excellent communicators, before continuing with their programme, both ladies spoke about piano duos as an art form and about their chosen pieces at some length.

Most certainly, some parts of their performance were very enjoyable, especially where musicality took precedence over the showmanship that was undoubtedly necessary to bring off large scale productions of Bernstein`s" West Side Story" and Percy Grainger`s arrangement of Gershwin`s "Porgy and Bess".

For instance "Berceuse" and "Le jardin de Dolly" from the suite of that name by Faure beloved of listeners to "Listen with Mother", were sensitively played with the intertwining of the voices in the latter extract nicely brought out, whereas "Le Pas Espagnol" again sounded to be over pedalled and too loud and forced.

The Ballet Suite "Souvenirs" by Barber was articulate with a better tonal control overall and with clear interplay between the pianists, and both the Bernstein and the Gershwin arrangements were very effective with their well known and much loved tunes made prominent, but with perhaps an over abundance of glissandos amidst the general razzmatazz!

Showing that these artistes could indeed play musically and live up to their impressive reputation we heard a delightful rendering of "Aquarium" from the "Carnival of the Animals" by Saint-Saens as an encore, to conclude what was perhaps, not altogether, one of our most successful concerts.



Abbott O'Gorman Piano Duo

Jocelyn Abbott and Laura O’Gorman are acclaimed champions of “à quatre mains” playing, commissioning transcriptions and themselves adapting arrangements of the orchestral repertoire. Before the radio or gramophone, the great composers transcribed their ballets and large orchestral works for the full gamut of colour and percussive effects of the piano and twenty fingers.

The Abbott O'Gorman Piano Duo formed in 1992. Both pianists are Steinway Artists and honorary associates of the Royal Academy of Music. They perform concerts world-wide, are regular radio broadcasters and their CD recordings have been met with great critical acclaim.

Born in Canada, Jocelyn Abbott was educated at the University of Victoria, B.C. and the Royal Academy of Music in London. She has been performing professionally since 1978 and has given concerts world-wide both as a soloist and chamber pianist in the UK, Canada and the United States, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Australia & New Zealand and broadcast for the BBC, Classic FM, CBC & Radio New Zealand.

Born in London, Laura O’Gorman was educated at the Royal Academy of Music and the Moscow Conservatory. She has performed in solo & chamber music concerts world-wide and has recorded with The Philharmonia Orchestra and Moscow's "Ensemble XXI" and broadcast for the BBC and Classic FM.

As "The Abbott O'Gorman Duo" Jocelyn and Laura combine their diverse talents in a versatile ensemble of glittering pianism and witty repartee.