Duo pianists Richard and John Contiguglia (both ’59BA, ’61MM) are the winners of the 2012 Grand Prix du Disque, awarded last October by the Liszt Society of Hungary. The award-winning disc features Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos.
The brothers noted, “Early in our career as a professional duo-piano team we discovered duos of Liszt and of Bartók that had never been previously recorded and had seldom been heard in modern-day public concerts. The duos of Liszt were only available from collections in museum archives or in rare Russian editions. We were so impressed with the quality of the music that we performed much of it on our recitals in Europe and in the United States and finally made, in the early 1970s, what came to be several historic recordings for Connoisseur Society Records. The resulting LPs have long since been unavailable and were never reissued as CDs. We are pleased to be able to offer once again the original Connoisseur Society recording of Liszt’s Operatic Fantasies and a live radio broadcast recording for VARA Radio in Holland of Bartók’s Suite for Two Pianos, Op. 4b.”
The American Record Guide wrote, “You owe it to yourself to seek out this recording – performances of this caliber are quite rare.”
Richard and John Contiguglia are identical twins who have collaborated as a piano duo since they were five years old. Following the release of their historic recording for Connoisseur Society of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, transcribed for two pianos by Franz Liszt, now a collector’s item, critic Edward Tatnall Canby called the Contiguglias “the most profoundly musical pair of piano virtuosi of this century.” Records and Recording proclaimed that “they have given the two-piano medium a whole new dimension. The Contiguglias stand apart in a lofty world of their own, unrivaled and supreme.” Byron Belt, for Newhouse News Service, called the Contiguglias “foremost among today’s duo-pianists.” MORE