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Pascal & Ami Rogé (piano)

Kings Place, London

10 June 2010

A delightful piano four-hands recital at Kings Place.

The young Japanese pianist (née Ami Hakuno) is a delectable keyboard partner for her fortunate husband, and her winning smile captivated the audience (as did her equally assured and idiomatic playing) in the French Music series curated by The Schubert Ensemble.

Kings Place removes programme details from its website immediately after concerts, so I give you below a scan from the programme.

Some of this music has been familiar to domestic duettists (not that they're all easy) but it is rare to hear them executed with such charm, vivacity and accuracy. The Kings Place Steinway was perfectly set up and the Hall One acoustics were perfect for this relaxing music. Pascal included a searching account of Fauré's first Nocturne and the solo version of his Ballade, which was followed without break by Clair de Lune.

The pianists exchanged places (control of pedal and responsibility for page turning) in the proper piano-duet manner; my only regret was that Pascal didn't allot his wife one of the solos...

For a joyous encore, we had the riotous Fauré/Messager - Souvenirs de Bayreuth, a response to Wagner in the form of a quadrille.

FAURÉ's ‘Dolly’ and DEBUSSY's Petite Suite for piano duet are include on their first joint CD ONYX 4047, with another to follow later this year.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Debussy 150th anniversary recital

Pascal and Ami Rogé, pianos
"four hands and two hearts"

Élégie Trois Études 6 Preludes from Book I •Voiles •Le vent dans la plaine •Les Collines d’Anacapri •La fille aux cheveux de lin •La cathédrale engloutie •Minstrels: Modéré

En blanc et noir (Two pianos)

Estampes • L’Isle joyeuse • Nocturnes (Two pianos and four female voices)

Kings Place, London 17 February 2012

This loving couple (so Pascal assures us they are in his K P biographical note; they hold hands coming on and off stage) returned to Kings Place with two evenings of Debussy, Early and Late. The second programme was a peculiar one, one for connoisseurs (= a small audience...).

To start, Pascal Rogé gave us ten solo piano pieces, études, preludes etc, played straight through as a long set with neither the briefest pauses nor any indication that applause would be welcome. They were exquisitely delivered by this specialist and did create a certain spell in the darkened hall, disturbed only by the electrical background noise (from lights?), inescapable in most modern concert halls, and which compromised the extreme pianissimos of this delicate music for some with sensitive hearing.

En blanc et noir brought Ami to the platform with more variety, its serious tone connected with its 1st World War associations, and there Mrs Rogé made a fully equal contribution to the proceedings. It was disappointing and disconcerting, therefore, that after the interval it was Pascal alone who returned to give two more extended items solo, his wife left outside until the final item. The audience would certainly prefer to have had her featured more equally...

It was good to hear Nocturnes without orchestra for once (only) in Ravel's 2-piano arrangement. But regrettably its last piece, Sirènes with female voices, is the weakest and too long drawn out to make a satisfactory conclusion to an evening.