As the crowning event of the Accompanists’ Festival in Adelaide, Australian pianists Lisa Moore and Sonya Lifschitz presented a duo concert in which artistry met energy, featuring works by Adams, Bresnick, Crismani and, above all, by Bach – the Goldberg Variationsin an Emmerson arrangement for piano duo.

The joyous clangour of John Adams’ Hallelujah Junction made for an exhilarating opener. This ‘party piece,’ as Moore affectionately called it in her spoken introduction, plays around with the resonances of setting two pianists to play similar material at a slight delay, demanding virtuosic rhythmic control. Add to this a constant and building momentum, which must never quite feel like it’s ‘arrived’ until the very end, and you have a challenge indeed.

But Moore and Lifschitz tackled all this with consummate skill, from the first bell-like fragments to the intoxicating cross-rhythms in the finale. They were quickly locked into each other rhythmically, landing hair’s-breadth syncopations with pinpoint accuracy. The precision of their detail did not preclude the bigger picture, however. Even through the softer central section, with its triplet undercurrent, there was a subtle drive which linked everything to the thoroughly excitable ending – and there, even the fractured silences were bursting with pent-up...