Katia and Marielle Labeque | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Katia and Marielle Labeque 

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These same-sex siblings, known for their recordings of both classical music and jazz, are France's answer to the Marsalis brothers. Piano prodigies Katia and Marielle Labeque bring a lifetime of collaboration to their work, which must be responsible for their sensibility to each other's playing; it allows them to inhabit, and often illuminate, the subterranean structure of the music they perform. Works for two pianos contain unique hidden dangers--most of them related to keeping the separate parts from overwhelming each other and muddying the presentation--but the Labeques bring an almost blithe clarity to the process. On jazz tunes, they exhibit the edgy, somewhat brittle swing that characterizes many French musicians, but their imagmiative arrangements and unquestioned improvisational skills nonetheless grab the ear. Jazz dominates the first of their two Chicago programs, which includes works by Thelonious Monk, John McLaughlin, and Michel Camilo, (along with Ravel and Gershwin); the second concert's all-classical bill comprises works by French and Spanish composers. Sunday, 7 PM, and Monday, 8 PM, Civic Theatre, 20 N. Wacker; 242-6237 or 663-1628.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Furmanovsky.

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