LSM Newswire

Friday, March 20, 2009

Duo Concertante to appear in Classical 96 lobby concert April 8 - launches "It Takes Two"


Toronto, ONTARIO - East coast violin/piano pair Duo Concertante (violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves) is thrilled to release its fourth CD, entitled "It Takes Two", a Marquis Classics/EMI Canada recording of encore chestnuts to please and delight any classical music fan. Excerpts from the CD will be performed and broadcast live at The New Classical 96.3 FM on Wednesday, April 8, at 1:20 PM and classical music fans can tune in or watch on the internet at The Duo will also perform on Tuesday, May 5 at the Canadian Opera Company's Free Concert Series from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

The uniqueness of this album originates with the arrangements. When violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves wanted to release an album of encore pieces, they approached Canadian composer Clifford Crawley for inspiration - and the collaboration was mutually rewarding. "We wanted to present encore pieces which featured both instruments equally," explain Nancy and Timothy. "When we approached Clifford about arranging some materials, we suggested some of our favourite opera arias, jazz tunes, and orchestral pieces. He had great ideas and for the next year created the 14 arrangements that comprise this disc. We are indebted to his great skill, enthusiasm, and generous spirit. The title of the disc should really be 'It Takes Three.'"

Duo Concertante's previous recordings, all under the ATMA Classique label, reveal the pair's wide range: "Wild Honey" (2003), highlighting Canadian composers Kelly-Marie Murphy, Chan Ka Nin, Omar Daniel, Jean Lesage, and Andrew Paul MacDonald; "Of Heart and Homeland" (2002), was a disc of Jancek, de Falla, Shostakovich, Michael Parker, Smetana, Dvork, and Piazzolla; and " Deux" (1998), which featured Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ravel, and Brahms.

"It Takes Two" repertoire list: de Abreu: Tico Tico; Gershwin: Lady Be Good (medley); Saint-Sans: Mon coeur s'ouvre ta voix; Khachaturian: Sabre Dance; Grieg: Solveig's Song; Gillespie: A Night in Tunisia; (trad): The Lark; Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet; Sibelius: Valse triste; Rodgers: "It's a Grand Night for Falling in Love with the Most Beautiful Girl on a Carousel"; Bonf: Black Orpheus; Tchaikovsky: June - Barcarolle; Mozart: Rondo alla Turka; and Puccini:
Humming Chorus.

"It Takes Two" will be available April 14, 2009 and available online at

Since forming in 1997, Duo Concertante has been acclaimed for performances characterized by brilliance, subtlety, and passion, across North America and abroad. Hailed for their "artistry, poetry, impeccable technique", and "exceptional warmth and intimacy", violinist Nancy Dahn and pianist Timothy Steeves are renowned for their extraordinary teamwork and powerfully-charged performances which them apart from more conventional violin/piano collaborations. The San Francisco Classical Voice wrote, "Brilliant, saucy and soulful . . . you hear splendid sweet nuances everywhere; Duo Concertante makes a powerful case for thinking of violin/piano sonatas as duo music, rather than as music for a pianist and a violinist."

Clifford Crawley was born in 1929 and educated in England. Affiliated with the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre, he has over 80 published compositions. He believes "originality is not necessarily something new, but often [the result of] looking at the familiar in a different way," which perfectly sums up his contribution to "It Takes Two." He is Professor Emeritus at Queen's University, having taught composition and music education there from 1973 to 1993. He has worked as a music consultant in Central America and Asia, and participated in many Composer/Artist in the Classroom programs. He now lives and enjoys an active musical life in St. John's, Newfoundland.

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