Review of Week-long Residency
Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum, Charlotte, SC

On behalf of the Winthrop Friends of the Conservatory Series at Winthrop University, I want to thank you and Elaine for your week-long residency here this past week and for your performances here at Erskine College. The Transcontinental Duo presented a wonderful performance of French piano-four hand music, in addition to Ravel’s monumental La Valse for two pianos.

I was particularly struck by the energy and enthusiasm in your performance of La Valse. It was truly a command performance of this work. The intimacy you brought to Debussy’s Petite Suite and Ravel’s Mother Goose was particularly effective. Individual movements of the Bizet and Fauré works were effective in their playfulness and charm, especially in movements like Mi-a-ou, Pas español, Trompette et tambour, and Le bal. Throughout the entire program, I appreciated your sense and projection of the French 19th and 20th century styles relating to color, timbre, balance, and restraint. Your ensemble was impeccable.

Both presentations you gave for the Charlotte and Rock Hill Piano Teachers Forums were popular with our teachers. I appreciate very much the practical guidelines and topics addressed with respect to playing piano duets, and I think our teachers were able to carry useful suggestions away with them.

Again, it was a pleasure to have you here this past week. In the future, I would be happy to offer a word of recommendation to universities, concert series, and/or music teacher organizations who might be considering the Transcontinental Duo for concerts and/or lecture presentations.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best with upcoming presentations and with your recording.

Sincerely yours,

Matthew Manwarren
Associate Professor of Music/Piano