I wanted to make transcriptions, not arrangements, of the pieces. It was very important to preserve the integrity of the piece, without adding unnecessary material. I was very generous though, when adding notes, in order to make the piece as sterephonic as possible, fuller than before, wider. I explored it further, register wise, to make it worthy of the grandeur of two pianos playing at the same time. The pieces became thicker, with more filling. I was very careful in making the two pianos share the same amount of weight, any piano can be piano I or piano II, there is not "the easier" one, both parts are exactly as demanding. I was also very careful in maintaining a constant dialogue between the two pianos.
In making transcriptions, we would simply look at a certain piece available only for one piano, and after making the necessary judgements, as not all pieces can be trancribed for two pianos, I would just get at work! I would take mentally a certain piece and think about it for a few days, and if I was able to visualize how it would go, I would get started. My calculations probably were accurate when thinking about the various aspects of each transcription, because once I was done, we would barely make any additional changes.
We wanted to be able to perform any piece we deemed transcribable, just for the pleasure of doing so, because it is more fun than playing them solo. I also thought I would be enriching the Spanish piano literature by adding a new medium to the repertoire. I imagine it was a way for me to feel intimately closer to Spain.
Our feelings about the music...
Performing Spanish music is one way we have to stay permanently connected with our native country, at a very deep emotional level. The spiritual essence of a country withstands the passing of time, historic changes and generations. I think a certain characteristic remains the essence of a country even after centuries. The Spanish idiom is one of those characteristics which define the cultural identity, no matter what changes take place in Spain.
The composers whose pieces we perform, took the task of incorporating this music idiom into their classic ideas. This makes this classic music, a very particular type of music, which requires a profound understanding of it. Spain has a diverse tradition of folk music and dance. These traditions are inspired by intruments like the castanets, and the guitar, which have contributed special rhythmic and melodic patterns, and by Arab influences, which can be identified as melismatic practices and unusual scale patterns.
All of these were incorporated into the music we perform, so as artists,
you have to convey it for it to be authentic, with color, and emotion. This
music's rythmic vitality is a passionate force that directly affects the listener.
These elements, together with a through knowledge of the Spanish culture,
make this music very difficult to perform. The very particular rhythm, phrasing,
and most importantly the passion involved has to be communicated with the
right amount of weight.
We studied since we were very young in Madrid, but were born in the South,
where this music formed. As children we could hear these rhythms, and they
became part of our lifes, and now we take this music throughout the world,
together as Spaniards, and as a couple, sharing years of a common cultural
conection and many moments of enjoyment performing together standard repertoire
as well as the music of our country. The reason I transcribed the piano pieces
into two piano pieces is simply so that we could enjoy them together, that
is why I do not wish to publish them, because they are taylor made for my
hands and Jose's, it is just too personal to be published.