Olgo Kharitonova & Igor Machlak Piano Duo
BEAUTIES AND BEASTS
Four hands on the Stuart & Sons piano
Ravel - Stravinsky - Schubert – Brahms

 
www.leatham.com.au
 
Since moving to Australia in 1995, Russian born Igor Machlak and Olga Kharitonova have continued to develop their careers as performers and teachers, specializing in piano duets and repertoire for two pianos. They have made recent appearances with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra and at the 2010 Adelaide Festival.
The duo's busy performance schedule has taken them to China and Southern Eastern Asia as well as return trips to Russia. Currently they lecture at the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Music.
 
 
“In May of 2009, I went to Albury for the first time.  I was to perform Mozart’s Piano concerto with a wonderful group, the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of William Hennessey.  I always enjoy and cherish the opportunity to play with them.  I was expecting the occasion to be an enjoyable one, but the piano at the Albury Entertainment Centre was old and tired, so I had to gather all my strength and experience to get a reasonable sound out of it.
 
At the banquet after my concert, I spoke to the organiser of the event, Gregory Lewis.  It seemed that my struggle with the piano was not unnoticed, so he suggested to me to have a look at his piano just three minutes walk from there.
 
Next morning, with just half an hour left before I had to catch a bus, I turned up at St. Matthew’s church to find the piano hidden under a cover in the corner.
 
I was surprised to discover that it was longer than a Steinway D model and the lid was the heaviest that I have ever tried to open!  Moreover, there were four pedals instead of the normal three, and four extra keys on either side.
 
It was a Stuart & Sons piano – Australian made.  I tried some earlier versions of this brand when they were exhibited in Melbourne a few years ago, but after touching the keys of this one I realised immediately that this was something special.  The tone was unique and the key action very comfortable and true.  Unfortunately, I simply didn’t have enough time to explore the possibilities of this wonderful piano fully, and wished that, maybe, I would have the opportunity to come back one day and get re-acquainted with it properly.
 
I am really very grateful to Gregory for his efforts and generosity.  In less than a year I found myself in Albury again, this time with my wife Olga, making this recording for a new Australian label using the Stuart & Sons piano.”

Igor Machlak


Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) - Mother Goose Suite
01: Pavane de la belle au bois dormant
02: Petit Poucet
03: Laideronnette, impératrice des pagodes
04: Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête
05: Le jardin féerique
 
Igor Stravinksy (1882-1971)
06: The Rite of Spring, Part 1
 
Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
07: Waltzes Op. 18a
 
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
08: Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D-flat major
09: Hungarian Dance No. 7 in A major
10: Hungarian Dance No. 8 in A minor
11: Hungarian Dance No. 9 in E minor
12: Hungarian Dance No. 5 in F-sharp minor
13: Hungarian Dance No. 1 in G minor
 

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