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Concert in aid of Maxability: Tessa Uys and Ben Schoeman

Saturday 30 March 7.00pm

19 Greenacre Walk N14 7DB

202403 maxability concert 

Those who have heard this formidable piano duo performing Beethoven Symphonies, transcribed for piano duet, will know we are in for an exceptional evening of great music. Their project of recording the entirety of Beethoven’s symphonic output for SOMM Records is now nearing completion.

Here’s an extract from a five-star review in last Autumn’s “Musical Opinion”:

“The ongoing SOMM series of Beethoven Symphonies in the piano duet transcriptions by Franz Xaver Scharwenka has been a revelation for all, not least in the quality of interpretations of this supremely gifted piano duo, and their latest issue of the First and Sixth Symphonies is fully up to the standard of earlier issues. Those collecting the series will need no encouragement obtain the new disc. The performances throughout are so musical, so fully Beethovenian as to defy criticism. As the recording quality is also excellent this disc can be wholeheartedly recommended.” [John Alexander]

Their concert will conclude with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E Flat Major, op 55 (“Eroica”) - and before the interval Tessa and Ben will treat us to Franz Schubert’s two epic piano duets.

Here’s the programme in full - please print it and bring it to the concert:

Schubert - Fantaisie in F minor, D940

i Allegro molto moderato
ii Largo
iii Scherzo. Allegro vivace
iv Finale: Allegro molto moderato

Schubert - Allegro in A minor, D947 (“Lebensstürme”)


Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”)

i Allegro con brio
ii Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
iii Scherzo: Allegro vivace
iv Finale: Allegro molto

Schubert’s Fantaisie in F minor is one of his most important piano creations. He composed it in 1828, the last year of his life. Musicologist Christopher Gibbs has described the work as "among not only his greatest but his most original" compositions for piano duet. The work was dedicated to Caroline Esterházy, with whom Schubert was in (unrequited) love. After his death, his friends and family undertook to have a number of his works, including this one, published by Diabelli in March 1829. The original manuscript resides in the Austrian National Library.

The title “Lebensstürme” (“Storms of Life”) wasn’t Schubert’s. It too was written in 1828, and published in 1840 by Anton Diabelli. It has the weight and drama of the first movement of a sonata, opening with a series of thunderous, emphatic chords. Then a series of rapid scales pass between the four hands. The middle section, in a bizarrely unrelated key, is tranquil and hymn-like, but the glow is short-lived. The sense of four hands entwining across the keyboard that follows is vivid and immediate. The instrument’s sound conjures an intimate drawing room of the sort Schubert would have known well.

Hearing this programme performed by these fine pianists, on the very Steinway instrument selected by both Paderewski and Rachmaninov for their London concerts, will be an unsurpassable musical experience.


1. Parking There is no parking in Greenacre Walk - but there is ample free parking at weekends in Cannon Hill, Arnos Grove, The Green and The Mall - all within a couple of minutes’ walk from the venue, 19 Greenacre Walk, N14 7DB.

2. Time:

The concert will start at the new time of 7.00 pm, and there will be an interval of 30 minutes. Please aim to arrive by 6.45 pm to reserve your seats, meet friends and enjoy a drink. The standard donation of £35 per person includes wine, soft drinks, and a selection of snacks & dips - which will be available before/after the concert, as well as during the interval. Our concerts usually end no later than 9:15 pm, but please feel free to stay on, relax and talk to the musicians.

3. Booking Procedure:

Please send me an email () stating the number of places you require, and the names of your guests. Please make a bank transfer of £35 per person to Maxability (HSBC, Sort-code 40-45-27, Acc.22123606) – OR send a cheque payable to “Maxability”, addressed to me at 19 Greenacre Walk, London N14 7DB, the concert venue. Your cheque will be banked only AFTER the concert.

Any queries, please get in touch – but meanwhile we send you our warmest greetings and our thanks for supporting Maxability’s valuable work - which you can see by visiting the Maxability website.

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