Tengstrand, who played the first half of the concert, said that not only was Borge a great comedian, he was an impressive pianist as well.
“Magnus and I decided that I’d be really boring and play really well, and he’d be really funny and play really bad,” Tengstrand announced.
Tengstrand indeed played very well and was quite funny, too. As a tribute to Borge who dramatically fled from Scandinavia when the Germans invaded Denmark, Tengstrand played Liszt’s response to the crushing of the 1849 Hungarian Revolution, “Funérailles.” Tengstrand is a highly accomplished pianist, and it is a treat to hear and watch him play.
Magnus Mårtensson did a new comedy routine: Wearing a Groucho Marx mask he played a piece by Brahms, while at the same time playing a game of chess, boxing, and giving a soothing backrub. It was classic Mårtensson and very, very funny. His natural ease on stage is infectious, and he too is an excellent pianist. The lucky audience got to hear him play Philip Glass’ “Metamorphosis 2.”
“I could’ve played ‘Metamorphosis 3,’ but you really wouldn’t have known the difference,” he said, deadpan. “This particular piece is my mother’s favorite – but instead of coming here tonight, she chose to go and see ‘The Lion King’ on Broadway.”
The evening ended with a short film Magnus Mårtensson has made.
For more information about the pianists, check out their websites: