Two pianists at one keyboard equals “fun” concert

Cheryl Cooney and Debra Bakland perform pieces for four hands on Thursday

Cheryl Cooney and Debra Bakland usually play their piano duets while sitting across the room from each other at two different keyboards.

Sometimes they’ve even joined up with other musicians to play as a group on three or four pianos.

But on Thursday, Jan. 5, Cooney and Bakland will sit next to each other to perform on one instrument for their International Duo di Molto concert at the Snell Auditorium at the Red Deer Public Library. Why four hands on one keyboard?

“Because it’s fun!” said Cooney, who grew up playing “sit-down” duets with cousins — especially around the holidays.

Although the Red Deer pianist and Bakland, who teaches in Lacombe, have to anticipate each other’s movements to avoid getting “all tangled up” as they play, there’s something special about hearing a piece of music born out of close co-operation between partners, said Cooney. She believes listeners will appreciate the richness of tone provided by all the additional notes.

The two pianists are planning an Austrian-themed concert as part of the First Thursdays at the Snell series. Brahms’ waltzes from 1865 (Numbers 1-5, 8 and 14) will be performed at the free noon-hour show. The dances were influenced by stately Viennese waltzes, said Cooney. “People will recognize some of this music.”

Mozart’s colourful Sonata for Four Hands in B-Flat Major, will take listeners through a vibrant opening, a lovely, slow middle, and a peppy ending, reminiscent of an operetta soundtrack.

Schubert’s Fantasie in F Minor “is one of the most beautiful pieces in our repertoire,” said Cooney.

The movements are, by turns, nostalgic, dramatic and dance-like.

Bakland and Cooney have performed as a duo around Central Alberta for the last three years.

They met at Burman University in Lacombe, where Washington State native Bakland teaches music and Cooney has performed as an accompanist for students since retiring from music instruction at Red Deer College.

The women bring together a wealth of experience. Cooney is also a composer, who studied in Austria and the U.S., and had her own works performed across the globe.

Bakland, who joined Burman after a 30-year teaching career in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, has adjudicated, presented workshops, and mentored students who have won many awards.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read