Labèque Sisters are electric in Mozart, Philip Glass

Katia and Marielle Labeque
Cincinnati Enquirer

It’s hard to believe the Labèque Sisters have been harmonizing on the concert stage for more than four decades.

The world’s most famous piano duo returned to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra stage on Friday after an absence of more than 20 years. Their performance of Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat Major for Two Pianos was as fresh and exuberant as it was in their last appearance here in 1995.

But it was their encore by Philip Glass that drew the most enthusiastic response from the audience. The hypnotic, 2007 piece – Four Movements for Two Pianos (fourth movement) – was a display of the duo’s trademark brilliant artistry and hair-flying showmanship. It climaxed in swarms of powerful, repetitious chords.

Katia and Marielle Labèque, who were born in the Basque region of France, joined countryman Louis Langrée for an inventive program that paired music by Mozart and Stravinsky.

There was much to enjoy in Mozart’s Two-Piano Concerto, K. 365. (Mozart wrote it to play with his own sibling, Nannerl, although they never did.) Musically, the Labèques are far from cookie-cutter pianists. Each has a distinctive musical temperament – Katia, this time in stiletto heels and a dramatic outfit, is the more extroverted of the duo, and Marielle the more demure.

Read the rest of the review here