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International Reviews

"Treasures" Review by Martin Hoffmeister
The accomplishments of an internationally highly regarded Piano Duo are rarely extensively documented: The 7 CDs, 4 DVDs and 2 Blu-Rays present innumerable artistic milestones of wide range of accomplishments by Turkish twin sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel. The expressive, variable and technically flawless performing style bribes through diversity of colour shades, a strong sense for arches and form with delicate Rubati and agogic refinements.   More
The Pianist Magazine
… The Pekinels are widely regarded as the finest duo-pianist team since Arthur and Karl Ulrich Schnabel.
Gramophone
The sonata can hide many pitfalls but the Pekinels avoid them brilliantly Bryce Morrison, 2005 A quick glance at Warner Classics’s note reminds us that the twin sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel studied with Serkin, Arrau, Yvonne Loriod and Horszowski, a formidable pedigree reflected in performances of rare brilliance and pinpoint definition. More
The Guardian
…As identical twins playing in a piano duo, the Pekinel sisters have uncanny, almost telepathic ability to match each other to a microsecond in even the most elaborate rubato. It really is like hearing a single player.
The Observer
…the disc to their considerable skills as they romp through four of Bach’s concertos for two pianos in high style with the Zürich Chamber Orchestra under Howard Griffiths. Lightness of touch in the slow movements, fluent exuberance in the outer, these girls have the golden touch.
Luzerner Zeitung
Tweens merge together without eye contact, Piano-Festival: Shining stars, Güher and Süher Pekinel duo. Gerda Neunhoeffer, November 2017 Piano duo Güher and Süher Pekinel convinced with their intuitive interplay at the KKL-Concert Hall. On the world’s stages for 40 years with a comprehensive repertoire, they now play in a very particular and unusual positioning: no longer facing one another, but rather at slightly offset grand pianos, staggered one behind the other, without any eye contact.    More
Süddeutsche Zeitung
…The assuredness and mastery that Güher and Süher Pekinel demonstrate at two pianos is really amazing…every entrance is accurate, the tone of the interplay is absolutely in agreement, the breathing is phrased together, the treatment of rubati and sforzati is governed with absolute unison… a demonstration of highly concentrated musicianship. The public was electrified.
The Independent
7th February 2005 The idea of “trick” recording goes back to the days of 78s when Elisabeth Schumann sang in duet with herself and Heifetz played both parts of Bach’s “Double” Concerto. Latest to appear along parallel lines is a recording of Bach’s Concerto for three keyboards in D minor (4-stars Warner 2564 61950-2), where one of the pianist-sisters Gûher and Sûher Pekinel provides an “over-dub” of the third piano part. You’d never guess from the evidence – and like the concertos for two keyboards in C minor and C major, the performance is light on its feet. I’m not sure about the excessive decorations in the slow movement of the first C minor work (a two-piano version of the popular Double Violin Concerto), but the Triple is the ultimate in cool Bach – very Glenn Gould – while the Zûrcher Kammerorchester under Howard Griffiths fits the mood and style to perfection Two discs of piano trios are of interest, the first coupling Rachmaninov’s Trio élégiaque in D minor (4-stars Warner 2564 61937-2) together with Shostakovich’s great E minor Trio. In the Rachmaninov, Boris Berezovsky’s piano commands a Horowitzian dynamic range, especially in the first movement.
"Treasures" Robert Cummings
This thirteen-disc Arthaus Musik box set is one of those massive collections that will be coveted mainly by admirers of the talented piano duo – identical twin sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel. There are fifty-eight performances here, and that number doesn’t include individual pieces within a set like Brahms’s Hungarian Dances and Gershwin’s Three Preludes. More
RONDO
Michael Wersin One can develop real passion for the magic that can be created by two concert grands: especially if you talk about such a furious Duo as the Pekinels. Their strength is their perfect congruence of their interpretation, their absolute homogeneity in all levels. In the Sonata for two pianos op. 34 b, which requires a maximum of creative power, the Pekinels are in their element: making hear with the full color-chart of their striking performance such life’s fulfilment grazed by the Autumn in Brahms’ melancholic surges, which already speaks mightily from this relative early opus (originated in 1864). A great pleasure.
Audiophile Audition

This is the third video of the identical twin Pekinel sisters duo-piano team we have reviewed in the past. Here is the earlier one, and here is the second.

While the sisters definitely look older now (the first video was shot in 2001), they are at the top of their game and competing well with the popular Lebeque Sisters as well as other two-piano duos doing a lot of recording lately. The Bartok video performance was made during the 2012 festival at the Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence, Italy, and the rest of the program—the piano four hands and two-piano selections—was shot in 2010 at the Ludwigsburg International Music Festival in Germany. Mehta (although his name is in the biggest type on the cover) only conducts the orchestra on the Bartok Concerto for Two Pianos.   More

Bayerischer Rundfunk
…Cembalo-concertos of Bach count to the most beautiful of their repertoire. But sometimes they even sound better on the piano, especially when the piano is being played like by Turkish twin sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel. Their new CD not only enthuses under the swinging aspects. The transparency, the good pace – never agitated – the brilliance of the keyboard-gadget: all which gives pleasure in listening and musical co-reflection. This “Turkish Bach” is so very special, that it gives so much pleasure beyond of the only-therapeutic value of any Bach-Music that it is again therapy. Well, whatever, this disc from Warner Classics is marvellous.
BBC Music Magazine
… Pekinel’s turn in a very creditable performance of the sonata op. 34 by Brahms. The music is beautifully paced and articulated, performed with great emotional sympathy and ideal plasticity of phrasing…This is very fine playing and superbly recorded too.
Brilliant Brahms
With Brahms’ Allegro of the ‘Sonata for two pianos op. 34b’, they score straightaway a fulminant introduction. The retained initial accords, followed by virtuous sparkling passages are utilized by the Pekinels in order to conjure exhilarating worlds of sound even in the most compressed point. They lead through the main movement of 14 minutes with a clear line and a balanced weight of sound tracing the enmeshed thread with a keen sense. Thus they create a perfect symbiosis of sensing sound and sparkling evolvement of colors.
Daily Telegraph
…The Pekinel sisters are Turkish identical twins. Possessed with a sixth sense, they have formed what is possibly the most intriguing piano duo now before the public. And on Monday at Wigmore Hall the playing positively brimmed over with zest and a most infectious personal charm.
Frankfurter Allgemeine
…In a well-rounded program…one could marvel at their unbelievably homogenous playing, their temperament and the beauty of their balanced touch. Couples, sisters and brothers are often ideal duo teams, but the unique ability to breathe and phrase together is possibly reserved for twins.
Chicago Tribune
They play with an unanimity of concept and style that is little short of amazing. Performances of such liveliness, personality, flair and polish could well give the art of duo piano playing a respectability, not to mention an enjoyability it hasn’t known in ages.
Ha’aretz, Tel Aviv
“This was a performance of refinement seldom experienced by Güher & Süher Pekinel.”
Kronenzeitung
…Everything was out of the ordinary! The twin pianists Güher and Süher Pekinel play the Bach Double Concerto in C-minor as one used to hear it in the good old days of Karajan. Romantically structured with powerful colours. The refreshment of their touch brings their interpretation into an ascending virtuosic whirlwind. The harmony between the two pianos and the Orchestra was astonishing.
Deutschlandfunk

… You insert the disc and get immediately fascinated of the great line which dominates here, from the free breath and the sovereignty through which they control the score on the Pianoforte up into the last finenesses of the touch. The two pianists play with a stunning intelligence and a sense of form which is virtually frightening. This has as much elegance as it has richness of perception.

Klassik Heute
I dare to count the Bach-recording which is mentioned here to the best productions of the last years. Elastically, inventive in the musical Alchemy of Melos and fuged eruditeness, brilliant in the brisk, nimble passages, fully synchronic in the touch even in the most complicated demands, – thus the Pekinels ignite, or even ennoble four concertant wonder-scores. It is a pure pleasure to listen or even breathing the colorous, jubilant, mellifluous, touching and sprinting music of this evidently, technically fully unchallenged acting soloists.
Corriere Della Sera
…The Pekinels also made us imagine many orchestral colors and demonstrated that they were master of the dynamic nuances and the rhythmic abandon typical of this immense score (Stravinsky Rite of Spring).
Le Figaro
…The sight of a personal unity divided between two ravishing personalities is fascinating. Both sisters display an unerring technical and incomparable sensitivity. The audience was, of course, overwhelmed.
RBB Kulturradio
The twin sisters have for many years constituted a worldwide esteemed piano-duo. In their record of the Sonata for two keyboards f-minor op. 34 they prefer a clear, objective Brahms but quite with passion and full of verve. Camille Saint-Saëens’ Beethoven Variations – the virtuous show-piece – has to be served skilfully; and this is notably well mastered by the two sisters. Here they can give their temperament a free rein. At the end they virtually dynamite the room with their play. The basses swing, the tone-garlands pearl. This CD of more than 65 minutes simply makes you feel good. It is a CD for all those who love lively music-making.
Bärenreiter
There are more than a few siblings-partners among famous piano duos in the past and the present – the Kontarskys, the Paratores, and Labèques, just to name a few of them. As twins, Güher and Süher Pekinel are an exceptional duo even among those; without the special closeness of relationship, as the both sisters have underlined quite often, could have discharged them from working as hard for their art as other duos with a more different genome-structure.   More
Crescendo
Rainer Aschemeier, December 2014Previously, Arthaus Music was known exclusively as a DVD-Label. Now, however, the label heads from Halle/Saale have tried something new: their newest release comes as a DVD plus Bonus-CD with extracts of the concert, and, additionally, the program is also available as a Double-CD without the DVD. But what is this about? It is about two concert evenings with piano duo, Güher and Süher Pekinel. Already world-wide celebrated since the 1980’s, here the sisters present a furious tempo with Bela Bartok’s double concerto, conducted by Zubin Mehtas and recorded at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Theatre. Further, there is also a colorful piano recital with music from Schubert to Lutoslawski. What works well as a live concert on the DVD, however, provides a somewhat arbitrary image as a CD. Nevertheless, the interpretations are successful, as with the Pekinels that is always to be expected.
Fono Forum
Concentrated – Giselher Schubert, December 2014 In these live recordings, Güher and Süher Pekinel are in impressive form. Their duetting is technically flawless and they achieve a unison in interpretation that seems virtually instinctual. Furthermore, there is also a stylistic command of the intricate, but welcome, exuberant virtuosity of Lutoslawki’s “Paganini-Variations,” as well as the melancholy wistful chorale of Schubert’s Fantasie in F Minor – a pinnacle of four-handed piano music certainly only rarely attained.    More
Music Web
This new disc from Güher and Süher Pekinel offers an interesting recital programme and is well worth considering if the repertoire appeals.The first and most substantial work on the programme is Brahms’ Sonata for two Pianos in F Minor. This work is one of the permutations of the composer’s Piano Quartet in F Minor. Initially composed for string quintet – in this case, a string quartet augmented by a second cello, rather than a second viola – Brahms was not satisfied and recast it as a sonata two pianos, in which form it appears here.   More
Music Web
Among the purists are those who have a strong preoccupation with “authentic” musical performance. Music must be performed only on instruments relative to the period of composition; embellishments and repeats must be executed to the letter. Other than that initiated by the composer, transcription and adaptation for disparate instruments is frowned upon. If you are of such a disposition this recording may not be for you because it embraces much of the above and to “rub salt into wounds” even incorporates the dubbing of musical instruments!    More
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
At the Lucerne Festival, Pekinel Sisters presents different possibilities for a special night with pianos Thomas Schacher, November 2017 At this years’ Lucerne piano Festival, the Turkish Twin Sisters Güher and Süher Pekinel, in the concert business for forty years, communicate instead with audience, rather with each other and themselves. When they play Mozart or Ravel, seated one behind the other, at both their grand pianos, they are situated in a cosmic world, where they need no audience.   More
Piano News
This brilliant double-CD from Turkish piano-duo Güher & Süher Pekinel is no less than a compendium of the most important works for two pianos and piano for four hands. It is a live recording: The Bartók concert was recorded in 2012 at the Teatro del Maggio (Florence), and the remaining works were live recorded in the same year, as part of the Ludwigsburg Festival. Already, this live atmosphere alone proves itself to be a godsend, especially since no background noise disturbs the enjoyment of music, and the acoustics, particularly of the first CD, offers all that could be desired.    More
Pizzicato
Bela Bartok: Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra; Franz Schubert: Fantasie Op. 103; Wolfgang A. Mozart: Sonata for two Pianos in D Major; Claude Debussy: In Black and White for Two Pianos; Carlos Infante: Sentimento from the Andalusian Dances; Francis Poulenc: Elegy for Two Pianos; Witold Lutoslawski: Paganini-Variations; Johannes Brahms: The Hungarian Dances No. 5; Darius Milhaud: Brasileiras from Scaramouche; Güher & Süher Pekinel, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Zubin Mehta; 1 DVD + 1 CD Arthaus 102 191; Image 16:9; Stereo; 2012/2010 (111′)    More
Rondo
Güher & Süher Pekinel In Concert Michael Wersin, 10.11.2014 Béla Bartók, Franz Schubert, Claude Debussy, Johannes Brahms, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Witold Lutosławski,Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud More
The Best Recording

The best recordings of Saint-Saëns's Carnival of the Animals
Saint-Saëns was a prodigy polymath from whom music flowed effortlessly. Symphonies, concertos, chamber works, opera – there was seemingly nothing he couldn’t turn his hand to. 1886 witnessed the single greatest success of his career, as his epic Third ‘Organ’ Symphony thundered its way around the globe.     More

The Vibrant Recordings

Do the Piano Duos have to be sisters like Pekinels or Labèques? Or at least couples like Soós-Haag or Tal-Groethuysen? Duos like Martha Argerich with Nelson Freire prove that it also functions without marriage or blood relation, but of course some more Understanding and Trust is not harmful for a Duo. Güher and Süher Pekinel are even identical twins and in fact, critics of their performances points out, that their Interpretation is homogenous with blind communication between each other.     More