Esther Lee and Sung Chang have been playing together since 2010 while studying at Hochschule Musik Theater and Medien Hannover. They have had distinguished opportunities, such as performing at “art la danse” with the Gattingen Chamber Choir and Dance ensemble, and in the Young Music Elite series in Germany. After only six months as a piano duo, they won first prize and the Best Performance of Schubert Award in the International Schubert Competition for Piano Duo in the Czech Republic.

P. I. Tchaikovsky Nutcracker 'March'

P. I. Tchaikovsky Nutcracker 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy'

A. Arensky Suite for Two Pianos No2, Op.23. V.The Dancer

Three Pieces from Star Wars

J. S. Bach Cantatas

Elgar Salut D’amour

Klavierduo1(c) Nico Herzog

Klavierduo_09(c) Nico Herzog

E&S1

Sample Programs

Any program item can be mixed and matched

 

The Holidays (for two pianos)

I. Tchaikovsky/arr. Economou        The Nutcracker Suite

C. Saint-Saëns                                Le carnaval des animaux

Anderson/ arr. Anderson & Roe      Sleigh Ride

Anderson & Roe                              A Medley of Waltzes Made Famous in Disney Films

 

 Letters from Germany 

(4 Hands, One Piano)

J. S. Bach      Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring

                      Sheep May Safely Graze

                      Sleepers Awake

F. Schubert   Rondo in A Major, D951 Op.107

                     Sonata in B-flat Major Op.30

J. Brahms      Hungarian Dances

 

(Two Pianos)

J. S. Bach            “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, arr. by Myra Hess

J. Brahms            Variations sur un thème de Haydn, op. 56b

R. Schumann      Andante and Variation Op.46

 

Ballet Music

P. I. Tchaikovsky/ arr. Economou       The Nutcracker Suite for Two Pianos

S. Prokofiev/ arr. Mikhail Pletnev       Cinderella Ballet Suite for Two Pianos

 

Let’s Dance

J. Brahms                  Waltzes for Two Piano

D. Shostakovich         Tarantella for Two Piano

C. Saint-Saens            Danse Macabre

S. Rachmaninoff / arr. Igor          Roma Polka Italiana

A. Borodin                   Polovtsian Dances from ‘Prince Igor’

M. Moszkowski           Spanish Dances, Op. 12

M. Ravel                     Rapsodie espagnole

 

Orchestra on the Piano

I. Stravinsky              The Rite of Spring

                                   Petroushka

G. Holst                      The Planet Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity for two pianos

C. Saint-Saëns           Le carnaval des animaux

M. Ravel                     La Valse

P. I. Tchaikovsky        Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture

L. Bernstein               Symphonic Dances from ‘West Side Story’

   

American Composers

(4 Hands in one Piano)

S. Barber          Souvenirs Op.28

G. Gershwin      Three Preludes

                          The Man I love

                           Summertime

                           An American in Paris

                           Cuban Overture

                           Fantaisie sur “Porgy and Bess”, par Percy Aldridge Grainger,

 

(Two Pianos)

G. Gershwin     Rhapsodie in Blue

                         I got rhythm variation

W. Bolcom        Recuerdos

                         Garden of Eden: four Rags for Two Pianos

A. Copland        Danzon Cubano

 

From Russia

P. I. Tchaikovsky/ arr. Economou       The Nutcracker Suite for Two Pianos

S. Prokofiev/ arr. Mikhail Pletnev        Cinderella Ballet Suite for Two Pianos

D. Shostakovich                                  Suite for Two Piano Op.6

S. Rachmaninoff                                 Symphonic Dance Op.45

 

 

French Music

G. Faure              Dolly Suite Op.56

C. Debussy         Petite Suite

F. Poulenc           Sonata for four hands

M. Ravel              Ma mère l’Oye

C. Saint-Saens    Danse Macabre

 

 

Eastern Europe

F. Chopin               Rondo in C for two piano Op.73 posth.

A. Dvorak               Selections from the Slavonic Dances

F. Liszt                    Reminiscences de Don Juan

W. Lutoslawski        Variations on a Theme by Paganini

 

Music from the Movies

C. Schoenberg             Three Pieces from Les Miserables

J. Williams                    Three Pieces from Star Wars

G. Gershwin                  Three Preludes

A. Tatum                        Tea for Two

Anderson/Roe               Three Waltz for Two Pianos, A Medley of Waltzes made famous in Disney Films

G. Gershwin                  Rhapsody in Blue

 

 

 

 

Review

The Duo Lee/Chang really is a special experience. Hopefully we will hear them more often in the Hannover/Schaumburg area…
G. Kuck

A Duo’s infernal ride at Church 
The beat lies in the rests: Esther Lee and Sung Chang play a slightly different kind of piano recital in Hattendorf 
‘Liebestraum’ (love dream), the Notturno no. 3, which is based on a poem by Ferdinand Freiligrath, The piece is world famous; it is striking with the simplicity of its melody and its deeply romantic spirit, which has to be awakened by the artist. Sung Chang had no trouble with that at all: the notes lingered for a long time in the high ceiling of the church, even the ornaments and the rests resounded brightly. Sung Chang is far too experienced to interpret this classic in a languish or indulging way; only beginners do that really. He chose a slightly slower, but intimately, and had the musical courage to take time in the long melodies here and there – not only in Hip-Hop, but also in classical music the beat lies in the rests at times. 
An entirely different caliber was Liszt’s Rhapsody Espagnole that followed. A work filled with technical and artistic highlights, which the artist executed masterfully at a high tempo. After this he and his partner were sent into intermission with standing ovations. In light of the dynamics of the previously performed pieces, the piano tuner, who had travelled to the concert especially, had plenty to do during intermission. 
In the first half, the duo from the Hochschule in Hannover shared the pieces. Esther Lee showed great individual class in a piece by the Russian Jazz pianist, arranger and composer Nikolai Kapustin, who is not only renowned as a classical pianist, but is also famous for his improvisations. She went on an infernal ride on the keyboard that ended with a bold exclamation mark and nearly blew the church ceiling away. 
It was an unforgettable moment in this not exactly poor concert, in which the pianists did the dynamic sound elements justice. Calm flirtations were a rarity; only three Slavic dances by Antonín Dvorák, written in 1878 and 1886 were added to this category. This was fitting: the piece was originally composed for piano duo/four hands and made the Czech composer famous over night. In between, Ester Lee played a monumental piece by Maurice Ravel: technically flawless, secure in style and with a fine sense of color she formed the portrait of a drunk court jester, and shows his human sides: restless, comic, scurrile: in this not so well attended concert, 100 listeners were touched by her lovingly intricate impressionistic tone creations. 
Franz Schubert was not missing from the program; of course, a complete performance of his works for four hands would fill six recitals. The composer, who died at the early age of 31, contributed entertaining, clever and beautiful marches, dances and difficult pieces to the four hand piano repertoire. For Hattendorf, the duo chose the famous ‘Andantino Varie’ and the first movement of the Sonata in B-flat major. Both pieces were interpreted quite lyrically and performed effortlessly. Peter Apel, honorary professor for music history, shared his knowledge about the composers throughout the evening (more so than about the compositions) and said the duo had so much potential, he could imagine that concert halls would be named after them in the far future. Hundreds of people from Auetal probably agree since Sunday night. 
Author: Frank Westermann

Twin Pack Piano – Musikhochschule Hannover
by Kucki 
“This will keep you upright for a week. At least!” We agreed on the way home that last Saturday and Sunday we experienced fantastic recitals of the piano duo. What these two created left us – fortunately not completely – speechless: we could still shout ‘Bravo’ loudly at the end.
Piano duo recitals are interesting per se; one does not get to hear the repertoire for 4 hands or 2 pianos too often. Yesterday and the day before, several transcriptions (i.e. the overture of Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’, Dvorak’s ‘Slavic Dances’, Debussy’s ‘La Mer’) as well as original works for piano duo (i.e. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach “Duetto F-major”, Schubert “Andantino Varie op. 84″, Mozart “Sonata D-major KV 448″) were performed. 
All were exciting, wonderful works that were demanding for the listener, too! But this would all be for naught, if it were not for the pianists who did not only play the works, but gave them life. We were contemplating afterwards for a long time, what an artist has to do exactly, and what the difference is between enjoying listening, and being truly touched. Honestly, we do not know either, but we definitely experienced it. The audience was simply thrilled with their music (Schubert, Dvorak, W.F.Bach, Arensky). Clapping in between pieces – usually a frowned upon habit – was nearly inevitable here. And the ‘Bravo’ cries along with it. 
Yesterday we had the pleasure to not only hear piano duo Esther Lee and Sung Chang in the protestant church in Hattendorf, but to feel the compositions. What can I say? I am just speechless. For me personally it was the best I had ever heard. The audience response was just incredible, standing ovations, applause in between pieces, bravo cries and plenty of applause. 
I’m already looking forward to the next performance.
K.Liwack