ACT 9633CD ACT 9633CD

"Michael Wollny and Joachim Kühn are distinct and fundamentally different as musicians. And that is precisely the thing from which a significant part of their sense of common purpose stems. Both are outstandingly virtuosic pianists without stylistic restrictions; the most divergent areas of contemporary music can be the place where they find their connection. Each has an ever-alert and enormously creative mind, plus the virtue of being able to listen, and also the confidence to do the right thing at the right moment, and to not just take their duo partner by surprise, but also, sometimes, themselves too. The duo work began in October 2008 with the recording of the album Piano Works IX: Live At Schloss Elm au. Now almost 15 years later, the two pianists have come together again for a recording. What is to be heard on this album? It documents the concert which took place in the Alte Oper Frankfurt on 23 January 2023, in its essential phases. No tricks, no patching, and the only variance from the actual concert is one change to the running order. The editing out of applause did not present any problems, because this audience -- devoted, completely captivated, and highly respectful -- invariably left a second or two at the end of numbers while the final echo in the room died down. There was a particular intensity at this concert. And one can feel that. The two improvising pianists who are to be heard on the album have wordless ways of communicating and intuitive ways of finding consensus, whether they are dealing with fundamental things or huge amounts of detail. And there is no sense of them tiptoeing tentatively around each other -- they got through the phase of getting to know each other and feeling each other out for the first time long ago."