In the enchanting Blue Griffin Records release “Connecting Cultures” a varied repertoire of music for piano four-hands is feelingly played by Zhihua Tang and Deborah Moriarty.

Musical selections from around the world by Gershwin, Mozart, Dvořák, Falla, Amy Beach, Florence Price, along with off-the-beaten path compositions from China, are rendered by Zhihua Tang and Deborah Moriarty in vibrant, stylish, intelligent readings.

Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances from the Czech master’s Opus 46 and 72 receive a bright, danceable performance. Mozart’s Andante and Five Variations in G major, K. 501 is sheer elegance in the sensitive hands of Tang and Moriarty. Wang Jianzhong’s Colorful Clouds Chasing the Moon and Gong Huahua’s Mountain Harvest are both enchanting discoveries for this listener. Manuel de Falla’s two dances from La Vida Breve are brought to life in a fiery performance by the Tang and Moriarty duo.

Amy Beach’s bucolic music from her Summer Dreams and Florence Price’s Three Negro Spirituals get a celebratory all-American turn that leads to a rousing Rhapsody in Blue that would have made Gershwin proud.

Whether playing the same piano with four hands or two pianos placed side by side or whether playing chamber music or with orchestras, duo piano teams focus predominantly on a very special repertoire. In this instance, Zhihua Tang and Deborah Moriarty have assembled a group of selections that evoke most welcome feelings of peace in a world often plagued by noisy  turmoil.

Rafael de Acha © 2022

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