Review: Invencia Piano Duo moves with the music at Elon

Photo by Stephanie Butzer

Andrey Kasparov (right) and Oksana Lutsyshyn (left) pose by their piano. Photo credit Stephanie Butzer

By Stephanie Butzer

The yellow glow from the stage of Whitley Auditorium spilled on pianists Andrey Kasparov and Oksana Lutsyshyn as they played an assortment of pieces Sept. 4.

The duo, more commonly known as the Invencia Piano Duo, was launched in 2003 and invited to travel the world to perform various repertoires from Mozart to baroque to contemporary composers. They sat at the same piano, on different benches, and played duets.

Kasparov and Lutsyshyn, who attended and met at Moscow State Conservatory, have won several international awards not only for their interpretation of dozens of pieces, but the ones they composed themselves.

Upon their entrance on stage, Kasparov marveled at the welcoming applause.

“So much applause already,” Kasparov said.

While Kasparov gave a brief introduction, Lutsyshyn sat on her bench in a long black dress. Her glittering earrings caught the high lights of Whitley as she stared at the music in front of her.

There was a slight pause before they began, like a prayer, and the music started.

The first piece was called “Pictures from the East” by German composer Robert Schumann. It consisted of six impromptus and after they were completed, Kasparov stood up to introduce the next piece, “Fantasy on Lutheran Chorales,” which he composed.

The third and fourth pieces – “Six Epigraphes antiques” by Claude Debussy and “Trois pieces recreatives, Op. 36” by Florent Schmitt, respectively – consisted of fancy handiwork where Kasparov and Oksana often reached across each other to play on opposite sides of the piano. The duo pulled off this tricky maneuver with fluidity.

The final piece, “La valse” by Maurice Ravel, was meant for a full symphony but Kasparov rearranged it for a piano duo.

With each accented note of “La valse,” the pianists started, as if they had been shocked. During the lively portions of the song, they both lifted their hands strictly and with authority.

The music echoed around the auditorium as a quiet, polite audience watched the rushing. Kasparov’s and Lutsyshyn hands varied from jabbing the keys furiously to caressing them tenderly.

Kasparov and Lutsyshyn currently teach at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. and are artistic co-directors of the Norfolk Chamber Consort.

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One thought on “Review: Invencia Piano Duo moves with the music at Elon

  1. andersj September 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm Reply

    You have a nice approach to writing. You are a natural. I’m going to point out ways to improve on this and other work… Your headline has no useful specific details. Make headlines search-engine-optimized – SEO! Keywords should be incorporated in the headlines you write. This piece is a short account that has some nice feature writing in your descriptions. However it has no deep, storytelling direct quotations. When you stopped the artists for a photo you should have briefly interviewed them in order to capture interesting background details. Without them this reads a lot like a very nicely rewritten program from the event with some good turns of phrase added in from a person who obviously attended and liked the concert. Sometimes this approach is all you have time to accomplish. But when you can you should add more depth of original reporting detail. Also, a piece like this screams out for an audio clip if not a full video clip of one of the pieces. Your audience wants to hear the music. Often the artists will gladly give their permission because they are happy for the publicity. You should ask in advance. If you can’t capture your own sound – the best thing – then ask the artists if there are already clips of these pieces on YouTube or elsewhere online that you could link to, so readers can listen. The photograph is “posed” not a natural one, but that’s OK in this type of feature reporting. Of course in news reporting we generally try to capture reality and we rarely pose photos if we can avoid it.

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