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Fiammetta Tarli and Ivo Varbanov, two pianos
Muhai Tang, conductor
English Chamber Orchestra

Catalogue Number: ORC100315

Release Date: July 26th

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Renowned for their wide-ranging careers as soloist and ensemble players, Varbanov and Tarli present performances of Mozart’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra K. 365, Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra K. 242, and Sonata for 2 Pianos K448/375a.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra No.10
in E flat major, K.365/316a
1. I Allegro
2. II Andante
3. III Rondeau. Allegro

Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra No.7
in F major, K.242
4. I Allegro
5. II Adagio
6. III Rondeau. Tempo di Minuetto

Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K.448/375a
7. I Allegro con spirito
8. II Andante
9. III Molto Allegro

Fiammetta Tarli, piano
Ivo Varbanov, piano
Muhai Tang, conductor
English Chamber Orchestra

This new collection of music for two pianos by Mozart features pianists Ivo Varbanov and Fiammetta Tarli, alongside the English Chamber Orchestra and Muhai Tang. Renowned for their wide-ranging careers as soloist and ensemble players, Varbanov and Tarli present performances of Mozart’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra K. 365, Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra K. 242, and Sonata for 2 Pianos K448/375a.

Recording in the beautiful Henry Wood Hall in London, Varbanov and Tarli chose to use Steingräber Phoenix pianos, as these magnificent, handcrafted pianos are ideal for performing repertoire requiring extreme finesse and nuance of sound. Apart from their unusual appearance, as they were made in a warm blonde wood colour, the Steingräber Phoenix sounds very different from the usual, bright grand piano. Listeners will find, particularly in the higher register, the sound much more mellow and perhaps a little closer to that of a period instrument. For the two-piano concertos by Mozart of this recording the result is striking: thanks to the less aggressive tone, many more details of Mozart’s experimental two-piano writing come to the fore.

Fiammetta Tarli & Ivo Varbanov
Two Pianos

When husband and wife Ivo Varbanov and Fiammetta Tarli joined forces and started performing as a piano duo in 2013, a chemistry of musical personalities was immediately evident beyond their bond as husband and wife. Their encounter at the house of Ilona Deckers in Milan, developed ongoing research for the refined central European sound culture.
Fiammetta Tarli started studying piano at the age of five with Giampiero Semeraro in Pisa, her hometown, and gave her first concert at nine. She earned her diploma in Piano Performance and Music Studies at the Florence Conservatoire at the age of seventeen. She specialised in solo repertoire with Maria Tipo, Lydia Rocchetti Pezzati and Ilonka Deckers in Italy, and in chamber music with Iain Ledingham at Royal Academy of Music, London. Her keen interests in literature and musicology prompted her to achieve her Master of Musicology and PhD at King’s College London. Composers Silvina Milstein and Martin Georgiev have composed for Fiammetta as a soloist as well as with Ivo as a piano duo.
Ivo Varbanov started to play the piano at the age of six in his hometown Pleven in Bulgaria with Eleonora Karamisheva. A few years later he studied with Riccardo Bertazzolo and the renowned Hungarian teacher Ilonka Deckers in Italy. After his graduation at the age of twenty, he moved to the UK to work with Sulamita Aronowsky at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and with Frank Wibaut at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Ivo also studied privately with Dennis Lee and has been inspired in masterclasses by such renowned teachers as the pianists Alexander Lonquich, Barry Douglas and Lev Naumov.
To date, Fiammetta Tarli and Ivo Varbanov have made more than twenty commercial recordings as soloists, as piano duo, with orchestra and in various chamber music formations for Hyperion Records, Gega New, B.N.R., Lorelt Records and ICSM Records.
Their solo, chamber music and piano duo performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, RAI 3, France Music, Radio Toscana Classica, Bulgarian National Radio, Classic FM+, Canadian Radios, US Classical Radios, Spanish National Radio, Slovak National Radio, Bulgarian National TV, BTV and TV Bulgaria.
They have performed as soloists with some of the world’s finest orchestras. These include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic, Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra, Sofia Soloists, St Petersburg State Symphony, Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais and the Gdansk Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by such distinguished conductors as Leif Segerstam, Emil Tabakov, Muhai Tang, Alexander Kantorov, Stanislav Oushev, Massimiliano Caldi, Robert Bokor, Mikolaj Djadura, Yordan Dafov, Martin Georgiev, and Jacques Cohen.
Their recent chamber music collaborations include concerts with Konstantin Lifschitz (two pianos, four hands), the violinist Ofer Falk, violists Jitka Hosprová and Roger Chase, cellists László Fenyö, Seeli Toivio, Jozef Lupták, Rohan De Saram, David Cohen, and Hillel Zori, the Allegri Quartet, the Martinu Quartet, and the horn player Tanja Nisonen.
They have performed as chamber musicians, piano duo, and soloists in more than thirty countries across three continents. Career highlights include multiple performances in London at the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Cadogan Hall and St John’s Smith Square. Other appearances in the UK include the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, the Freeman Concert Hall in Manchester, St George’s, Bristol, and the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge. Further afield, they have performed at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, the Bulgaria Concert Hall in Sofia and the Philharmonic Hall in St Petersburg, Varna Opera House, and at festivals such as ‘Brahms Unwrapped’ at the Kings Place (London), Wye Valley Music Festival (United Kingdom), ‘Conciertos Temáticos’ in Santander (Spain), the Sofia Music Weeks (Bulgaria), the International Chamber Music Festival ‘Konvergencie’ in Bratislava, Piano Extravaganza (Sofia), Les concerts du foyer Européen (Luxembourg), Ohrid Summer Festival (Macedonia), Apollonia Festival of Arts (Bulgaria), Cervo Summer Festival (Italy), Chopin Marienbad Festival (Czech Republic), Carniarmonie Festival (Italy), and the Lodz Contemporary Music Festival (Poland).

Muhai Tang

Muhai Tang is a world-renowned Chinese conductor who has won both a Grammy and an Echo-Klassik award.
He is now the Laureate Conductor of China National Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, and Harbin Symphony Orchestra.
Muhai Tang was born in Shanghai. He studied composing and conducting in Shanghai Conservatory of Music between 1973 and 1977. In 1979, he won a scholarship to study at the Munich Musik Hochschule. In 1983, at the invitation of Herbert von Karajan, he conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, starting his career as an international conductor. Besides the Berlin Philharmonic, Tang also conducted a number of orchestras worldwide, such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Thanks to his father’s education, the famous film director Xiaodan Tang, Tang developed a special love towards opera. He has had successful collaborations with some of the world’s greatest opera houses, such as Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Zurich Opera House, Hungarian State Opera House, Frankfurt Opera House and Munich State Opera House. During the period between 2003 and 2008 he served as chief conductor at the Finnish National Opera. During the Milan Expo in 2015, he conducted the new version of Rossini’s opera Othello at the Scala in Milan. He became the first Chinese conductor performing at that opera house in its 237 years’ history.
He has successively served as the artistic director and chief conductor of the Belgian Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Lisbon Orchestra Gulbenkian, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Prague Symphony Orchestra, and Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra; he has also successively cooperated with more than one hundred symphony orchestras and chamber orchestras as a visiting conductor.
He has conducted Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Pierre Fournier, Martha Argerich, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Itzhak Perlman, and many others.
Muhai Tang has recorded for a number of labels including Deutsche Grammophon and Teldec. Two operas (Le Comte Ory and Othello) sung by Cecilia Bartoli, directed by Maestro Tang, and produced by the Zurich Opera House in 2014 won the Grammy Award in 2004 and have been published by Decca.
He has directed the premieres of Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande, Britten’s The Turn of The Screw and the Rape of Lucretia in China. In recent years, he also premiered some Chinese national original operas written by Guan Xia and some other Chinese composers, such as Cai Wenji, A River of Spring Water, A Dream of Red Chamber, Marco Polo, etc.

English Chamber Orchestra

The English Chamber Orchestra has been performing across the UK and globally for over 60 years and is the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world. From its beginning, the ECO has worked consistently with the most significant musical figures in classical music starting in 1960 with its first patron Benjamin Britten. The ECO celebrates and builds upon its tradition of maintaining the highest international musical standards, nurturing new talent and focusing on the ‘best of British’ music and musicianship.
The orchestra has toured the UK and abroad with artists such as Benjamin Britten, Daniel Barenboim, Dame Janet Baker, Colin Davis, Placido Domingo, Jacqueline du Pre, Kiri te Kanawa, Yehudi Menuhin, Luciano Pavarotti, Murray Perahia, Itzhak Perlman, Andre Previn, Karl Richter, Mstislav Rostropovich, Georg Solti, Mitsuko Uchida, Maxim Vengerov and Pinchas Zukerman.
Recent tours have included Bermuda, USA, Mexico, Finland, France, Turkey, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Slovenia and Austria, as well as concerts across the UK and at London’s Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Kings Place and Cadogan Hall.
HRH The former Prince of Wales has been the Patron of the ECO since 1977 and the orchestra has performed at royal weddings, birthday celebrations and other events including the first concert ever to be broadcast from Buckingham Palace. The orchestra has also recorded many successful film soundtracks including Dario Marianelli’s prizewinning scores for Atonement and Pride and Prejudice.

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