What a pair of twins

By Alfredo Brotons Munoz, Levante EMV, Spain
 
Two twin pianists? Be careful! Those that first come to mind are not even twins. These, who our Philharmonic just debuted in Spain, are. And what a pair of twins: as good as or better than the other two sisters, whom they resemble in their silhouettes and attire even more than in musical terms, which is already a lot. Among the few of us that were in the Iturbi Hall, there were those who were already relishing the thought of what will be said when, in a few years, after all the praise in the mainstream media, the same hall overflows with enthralled spectators: “I saw them first and predicted they would go far.”

We are talking about the Americans Christina and Michelle Naughton, born in Princeton (New Jersey) in 1988. Educated at Juilliard and Curtis, in 2008 they began a career that has deserved nothing short of rave reviews, the same as for their first and up to now only album. Within the Himalayan quality that comprised their entire performance, the first peak they summitted was the sequence in the Andante and Variations op. 83b by Mendelssohn, where they crafted a third variation in which the Secondo was reduced to murmur, a fourth in which, with roles tentatively swapped, the Primo  rang crystal clear, and a fifth full of pure fire. After two (2nd and 5th) of the  Slavonic Dances op.46 by Dvorak full of sparkle, in the Fantasia D. 940 by Schubert marvelous heights were reached through details such as the pearly ring that formed the incipit for the third time, or by the harrowing journey from the tragic to the lyrical and back again that was recounted in the second section. On two keyboards, the Rite of Spring by Stravinsky was dazzling including the stunning solidity with which the Primo, in the last dance, resolved the slowing pace incurred by the Secondo, but above all by the amazing light that was projected on some passages that orchestras tend to leave in shadow, and by the tremendous capacity to envelop the notes with feeling. Two pieces by Milhaud closed the promising soiree.

Read the original article in Spanish