An impressive marriage
Ryan Summerlin July 29, 2011
The Bergmanns are back, much to the delight of Grand Countians. This famous duo-piano team captivated the audience for their eighth appearance at the Church of the Eternal Hills as part of the Grand County Concert Series. One ponders if marriage is the key to their phenomenal performance.
They play on two grand pianos opposite each other and memorize most of their music and then communicate with their eyes. Not using words may be one of their secrets to perfect playing as one. The Bach Concerto for 2 pianos exhibited wonderful dynamics as well as clarity so one could follow each musical line. The melodic lines were actually easier to hear than in most single piano performances. Perhaps listening to each other to this extent is another attribute for a good relationship.
There were other factors that were discussed at the reception following an evening of dazzling piano cohesion. Variety was certainly one of them as they performed a Poulenc Concerto filled with dissonance yet played so carefully that the audience erupted with applause. The famous American in Paris by George Gershwin showed off their love for jazz as they shared it with everyone. They effectively brought Paris and numerous associations to our community.
The second half of the program featured an arrangement by Lutoslawski of the well known Pagannini variations. Marcel and Elizabeth joyously played the melodies while supporting each other with dazzling accompaniments. Again, they made more music than any one solo player could. The accoustically fine hall was filled with good music resounding. Next were selected tangos of Piazzolla which are always favorites of our local audience.
The Bergmanns live inVancouver, Canada. Elizabeth is on the faculty and commutes to Langley Music School in Hamilton, Ontario, while Marcel teaches, composes, arranges and performs in Vancouver. Their separation makes for glorious honeymoons every few weeks according to Linda Brumagin, board member and friend. Perhaps separation is another route for a good marriage. They practice separately but then join their talents into an unforgettable concert. “Sparks fly between this couple” according to Linda who was their gracious hostess.
The Bergmanns honored the crowd with two encores: the ever popular “Malaguena” and “Fast Lane”, the latter composed by Marcel from his suite ” Urban Pulse.” His comment at the reception was “We love it here. It is the people and their love of music as well as the mountains.” Add all these non-secrets of their marriage and corresponding piano performance and you have a perfect evening that really defies descritpion.
The audience featured people from California, Florida, and Boulder as well as Denverites who remember past performances. Standing ovations barely expressed the gratitude of all who attended.