Pianists show Highlands their deep love of music 0
It's difficult to tell what they love more, the music or each other.
When Lucille Chung and Alessio Bax graced the stage at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion on May 6 love was in the air.
Kicking off the 2012 Haliburton Concert Series, the performance was Chung's second time on the Haliburton stage, but the first time for her husband Bax.
The couple got things started with Petrushka, by Igor Stravinsky, a favourite of Bax's.
Needing 20 fingers to perform, Bax said growing up he couldn't find anyone to play the piece with.
"When I met Lucille [who could play the piece] it wasn't one of the reasons I married her, but it was one of the requirements," he said.
A composition about three puppets, Stravinsky's piece took the duo the entire first half of the concert to perform.
As Chung and Bax focused intently on hitting each and every note, which they did with grace and precision, their facial expressions exuded concentration and commitment.
And of course there were plenty of opportunities to play footsies on the pedals.
The second half of the concert began with 16 waltzes by Johannes Brahms, each about one minute in length.
"This is one of the most intimate pieces written for four hands," said Chung during its introduction.
But it was the concert's finale that had audience members cheering with overwhelming delight and talking excitedly following the show.
In dramatic fashion, the pianists concluded with four tangos for four hands, arranged by Chung and Bax themselves.
"I have forbidden Alessio from playing this with anyone else," joked Chung.
While the couple played they laughed softly, grinning at one another from ear to ear.
Met with a standing ovation, Chung and Bax returned to the stage for an impromptu surprise.
Offering another performance of Libertango, the final tango of the four, Bax decided to play a slightly altered version, without consulting Chung.
"I don't think you'll mind hearing the piece again," he said, to which she audibly replied "What?"
With arms outstretched around Chung's petite frame, Bax tickled the ivories while his wife followed his lead.
During a meet and greet with the musicians following the concert, Bill Gliddon shared this touching, agreeable thought:
"It's clear to see you both share more than a love of music."
The HCS is made possible through funding from the Ontario Arts Council.
The next two installments for the series are scheduled to take place on Sept. 15 and Oct. 21.
Single tickets are still available, for more information contact Brenda Robinson at 705-457-2695 or firstname.lastname@example.org.