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02 OCT. 2015

Superb technique and highly nuanced tone colour
Autumn festival hosted in Schloss Seisenegg

On Sunday 27 September, the Arsio Piano Duo played works by Brahms, Scelsi, Mozart and Chopin in the culture centre at Schloss Seisenegg. The concert was part of the 2015 "Klangraum im Herbst" festival under the motto "Mourning – Joy – Finitude" and the artistic directorship of Thomas Bieber.

The historical castle offered a romantic setting for an impressive evening recital by the piano duo Susanna Artzt & Manfred Wagner-Artzt.

In beautiful, arching melodic lines the duo made the Mozart Sonata in B flat major for four hands brim over with vivacity and lively wit, an admirable rendering of Mozart that is very close to the two artists' audibly optimistic disposition. The Chopin interpretations, too, were creative and highly expressive in their emotional breadth. The Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor op. 66 sounded quirkily playful. The Polish composer's music is as temperamentally well suited to them as Brahms'. The Sixteen Waltzes were on the programme, played in masterly fashion by the Arsio Piano Duo and shot through as it were with the spirit of the new attitude to life among people of the 19th century, who managed not only to shake the thrones of sovereigns but also to lay bare the laws of nature's mysteries.

Robert Voglhuber

Schloß Seisenegg



An Evening of Exquisite Delights

As though all the gems we heard had been specially created for the finale in the concert cycle organized by the International Chopin Society in Vienna. ...

Susanna Artzt and Manfred Wagner-Artzt, a congenial couple at the keyboard, performed Mozart's Sonata KV 521 in C, composed for the piano four-hands, and truly brought it to life. The superb dialogue in the opening Allegro was charged with energy from the two musicians. And this brought the evening to the highest artistic level. More and more we had the glorious feeling that all the inventiveness we heard came about there and then, on the spur of the moment.

Completely at home in three-four time, Johannes Brahms' Waltzes, Op. 39 again thrived on the dialogue between the two pianists of the evening. As spirted as Susanna's presentation of a theme, so vigorous was Manfred's response with each elaboration of the idea – and vice versa. In three of the popular Hungarian Dances (plus the encores) the Arsio Piano Duo gave the most exquisite display of the soulful affinity existing between two artists. Enthusiastic applause reverberated with hopes of hearing them again soon.

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In Robert Schumann's Bilder aus Osten, the ideas from Friedrich Rückert's retelling of the Arabic Maqamen of Hariri really came alive. Schumann had been inspired by reading them – just as the enthusiastic guests were in the imperial setting of the completely sold-out Hallensalon venue. Thanks to the piano duo's captivating interpretation, Schubert's Fantasia in F minor D 940, composed for four hands, struck one as a logical precursor of Chopin's perfection in dance. Serious, but still invigorating in every single note – bitter-sweet, like life itself. What a moving experience the incredibly intense Largo was!


The concert by Susanna Artzt and Manfred Wagner-Artzt, who form the Arsio Piano Duo, was a wonderful combination of technique and sensitivity. ... Performed extremely harmoniously, with vivacity and warmth. Then the married couple played four-handed in Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Piano Four Hands, Igor Stravinsky's Five Easy Pieces and Johannes Brahms' Sixteen Waltzes, Op. 39.

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Ovations for Chopin and friends

Quod erat demonstrandum: Ovations are a dead cert whenever the pianist pair Susanna and Manfred Wagner-Artzt appear at the Chopin Society.

... Another highlight of the evening was when the pianists played together four-hands. In Johannes Brahms' Hungarian Dances, the Wagner-Artzts did not stray into any simple, superficial phrase-mongering. Instead the necessary subtle wit held sway, and the three pieces performed – in G minor, F major and F sharp minor – paid lively homage (to the extent that it is present in Brahms) to Hungary.

And befitting the ball season, there was plenty of lusty dancing in Ludwig van Beethoven's Three Marches for Piano, Four Hands op.45. Their rendition of No. 1 in C major was impressive for the delicate changes of voice; a sophisticated dialogue developed between bass and descant...

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... Susanna Artzt and Manfred Wagner-Artzt, well known as outstanding soloists and duo performers not only in Austria, continued proceedings with the Piano Sonata for Four Hands KV 358 by W. A. Mozart. Wonderful lyricism, contrapuntal passages, an adagio sung like a song and – as a surprise in the Presto ending – unthematic rhythmicity that was enchanting.

And Beethoven's March Op.45/3 strode through the hall with a splendid, mighty sound, and testified to phenomenal and finely coordinated duo playing.

... Mr and Mrs Artzt were outstanding – allowing every nuance, every slight fermata and every whirling dance to be heard with the most vivid clarity..., and there was jubilant applause.


Classical music worlds

A serenade concert was held in the Casineum Baden last Saturday, organised by the Office of the Regional Government of Lower Austria. The many people attending the concert were treated to a musical offering of great distinction. Susanna Artzt and Manfred Wagner-Artzt, who are also known as the Arsio Piano Duo, gave a rendition of Mozart and Beethoven compositions in which they wove wonderfully subtle webs of music in a first-class piano duet. Performances in which one could lose oneself and be transported.

contact: Pierre CHARRON

to the websites of:

Susanna Artzt

Manfred Wagner-Artzt