DeutschEnglish
You Tubefacebook
HomeYaara Tal & Andreas GroethuysenPiano-Duo Yaara Tal & Andreas GroethuysenPiano-Duo Yaara Tal & Andreas Groethuysen

Piano-Duo Tal & Groethuysen

When Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen provisionally formed a piano duo in 1985 for a single concert, they naturally did not realise how important this step would be, both for themselves personally and for the entire genre. The unforeseeably positive artistic development and the continuing interest displayed by the record label SONY CLASSICAL and the international concert market, however, meant that Tal and Groethuysen gradually matured into one of the programmatically most exciting and tonally and aesthetically perfect piano duos in the world.

During the first few years of their career together Andreas and Yaara devoted themselves primarily to playing on one piano, which is more complicated and from the point of view of the audience at first not quite so effective. In recent years, however, they have altered their focus and are now delighted to record and give concerts of the fascinating repertoire for two pianos, which is to some extent still unknown.

News

Studies based on Bach’s “The Art of Fugue” for two pianos
by Reinhard Febel (born 1952)

Commissioned by the Ansbacher Bachwoche (Ansbach Bach Week)

Studien nach Bachs Kunst der Fuge von Reinhard Febel

It seems a bit strange. Bach’s fugues as originally written are complex and in themselves - as it were - perfect, and now a contemporary composer turns up and wants to further develop this polyphonic structure. How can that work?

Studies can be understood as a synonym for études, the sort of exercise composed by Czerny, for example, or on a higher level, by Chopin or Debussy. In other words, pieces of music that enable the performer to practise a specific musical difficulty and that increase his competence by being constantly repeated. They can be rhythmic, pianistic or purely tonal exercises.

But studies can also be understood as compositional études, in other words pieces that demand that the composer practises a certain skill. The difference being that the composer doesn’t start from scratch, but takes a piece that already exists as his starting-point and “practises” on it.

“A study based on” can therefore also be understood as “a fantasy on” or “inspired by”. It is possible for a composer to hear a work by another master and be completely thrilled or even aroused by it - he would really love to have written it himself. But that is of course impossible. What he can do, though, is give free rein to his own creativity, set it free and lend it wings and present the result as a “study”.

In Febel’s case all these interpretations apply. The two pianists will have to practise a great deal together to master the work, and the composer had to study the brilliant original very carefully in order to understand it properly, to devise and to develop such ingenious and exquisite modifications.

In Ansbach seven out of the total of eighteen studies were perfprmed. We hope that in the course of the next few years we will be able to gradually work on all the remaining studies and eventually perform them as a full evening’s recital.

Komponist Reinhard Febel; Foto: Jim Albright
Composer Reinhard Febel, Photo Jim Albright

Photo: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche AnsbachPhoto: Bachwoche Ansbach
Photos: Bachwoche Ansbach

Arnold Schönberg Center
24.3.2015 - Successfull concert with Yaara Tal from Piano Duo Tal & Groethuysen, with her first solo program.

Tal & Groethuysen  Tal & Groethuysen
Tal & Groethuysen  Tal & Groethuysen

"1915": CD-Release 14.08.2015!

It is more than two years since our last recording session for a CD containing only piano duets. That was the „Götterdämmerung” CD, which heralded the start of the Wagner year of 2013 for us. Our homage to Wagner was, however, unthinkable without Debussy; in the course of that year and in 2014, too, we frequently and with great pleasure performed our programme “Twilight of the gods. Homage to Wagner on both banks of the River Rhine” and thereby developed a specific taste for Debussy. It was a stroke of fate that we studied the transcription of “La Mer” (version for two pianos by A. Caplet) in order to realise our project “Traummeer”, and it fitted in very neatly with our plan to focus more intensively on music from France in the next few years.

So in the first few days of the New Year we recorded a new CD of piano duets with works by Reynaldo Hahn and Claude Debussy. All the works are “French children of war” and reflect the intellectual and emotional state of these two composers in the second year of carnage.

More detailed information about the CD can be found under "1915".

The CD is a co-production by Sony and the Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation) and was recorded in Studio 2 at the BR. We have special memories of this recording mainly because of two pleasant experiences. The beauty of the Steinway grand pianos was out of this world, and they were capable of rare tonal modulation. And – although it is hard to believe – the very first positioning of the microphones simply worked. There was no need – as is often the case – for wearisome trying out. This was a masterly achievement by the sound design team, and we would here like to thank the excellent team: Christian Rabus (piano tuner), Jörg Moser (tonmeister), Gerhard Wicho (sound engineer), Bernadette Rueb (sound technician), Rolf Müller (sound assistant) and - last but not least – Falk Häfner (editor).

At the end of our time in the studio we took several photos of the entire team – but unfortunately none of them is really usable. So that at least an idea of the atmosphere can be conveyed in pictorial form, here is nevertheless a photo with two grand pianos and three gentlemen (l. – r.: Christian, Jörg and Gerhard) ...

1915

Yaara's first solo album: Haydn: The Seven last Words of our Saviour on the Cross

In the last days of October 2013 I recorded a solo CD. The main feature was Haydn’s passion music “The Last Seven Words of our Saviour on the Cross.” Originally composed for an orchestra, the version for a string quartet is part of the standard repertoire for this genre. What is not so well-known is that there is also a version for a keyboard instrument. When the publishers Henle produced a reliable edition of the work some years ago, I was attracted to the idea of one day giving voice to this meditation on the piano.

Yaara Tal


Yaara Tal
Gustav Eckart

A Call from Salzburg

From the Winter Semester 2014 onwards there will be a major change in our life, since we will start teaching at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. The institution and the city itself have always exercised a great fascination - not only for the two of us - and we are both curious and excited as we look forward to this new chapter in our lives.

To be more precise, the greater share of the new workload will fall on Andreas, since in addition to our joint speciality, piano duos, he will also be teaching a class for solo pianists. Naturally, this new task will force us to organise our routine of concerts and daily practice even more strictly, and we will therefore have to manage the commodity “time” even more conscientiously. A wonderful and exciting challenge.

5th ECHO Klassik for the Concert Recording of the Year (20th/21st century music)

Prize winners with the album: Ralph Vaughan Williams: Concerto for twoPianos & Orchestra/Symphony No. 5 (Sony Classical).

 


New CD-Release

The Art of Tal & Groethuysen
BOX - 10 CDs
Duo Tal & Groethuysen

The Art of Tal & Groethuysen

Release: March 4, 2016
Label: Sony Classical


1915

Claude Debussy, Reynaldo Hahn
Duo Tal & Groethuysen

1915

Release: August 14, 2015
Label: Sony Classical


Yaara's first solo-CD!

Seven Last Words
Haydn: The seven last Words of our Saviour
Schönberg, Bartok


Yaara Tal

Seven Last Words

Release: September 05, 2014
Label: Sony Classical



Rossini: Petite Messe Solennelle
Duo Tal & Groethuysen

Rossini

Release: April 11, 2014
Label: Sony Classical



Mozart & Czerny
Concertos for two Pianists and Orchestra

Duo Tal & Groethuysen

Mozart & Czerny

Release: February 14, 2014
Label: Sony Classical



Re-Releases 2015

R. Schumann, J. Brahms
Inspiration & Adoration

Duo Tal & Groethuysen

R. Schumann, J. Brahms
Re-Release: May 22, 2015
Label: Sony Classical



Children's Corner
Duo Tal & Groethuysen

Children's Corner
Re-Release: February 27, 2015
Label: Sony Classical