From the Sacred to the Saucy with Anderson & Roe

On WCRB's CD of the Week, the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo's latest recording whispers, sings, and rocks out in honor of mothers. Classical masterpieces and legendary popular songs get treated with the intelligent love that makes this duo so enduring.

A little over 15 years ago, Greg Anderson and Elizabeth Joy Roe found a couple of pianos at Juilliard and escaped the pressures of school by sitting down and reading music together. They were dumbfounded at how perfectly well their musical sensibilities were synchronized, and it didn't take long to officially become the Anderson & Roe Piano Duo. Now, they're known as the rock stars of the classical music world – and not just because of the magic they work on the occasional pop song (Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean," Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off," Radiohead's' "Paranoid Android"). They've taken their extreme training and love of life and turned themselves into a constant act of creation – spinning out provocative arrangements and videos, and touring the world with concerts that are engaging, challenging, and downright fun.

Anderson & Roe's latest creation is Mother, an album dedicated to celebrating the "full spectrum of motherhood, from the sacred to the saucy." In it, they've found a subject that has called up some of their most heartfelt playing. They've also found some astonishing connections between popular and classical masterpieces, and they've used their brilliant and mischievous imaginations to compose arrangements that piano duos the world over will be hankering to get their hands on.

Listen to them chatting with WCRB's Cathy Fuller about Mother:

On the CD's inspiration and the stories of each of their own moms:

On the album's very personal, very touching homage to grandmothers:  

How one mom that you "definitely wouldn't associate with apple pie" made her way onto the album:

On delivering the gospel message in Paul McCartney's "Let it Be":

On being careful not to tread on Schubert's simplicity, and a peek into the Anderson & Roe Listening Manifesto:

On the pleasures and pain of a recording session:

A bit of Queen, and who's that singing on the bonus track?

And if you've never seen what they can do with video, check out their hair-raising "Erlkönig" by Schubert:

Watch a trailer for the album:

For more information and to purchase this recording, visit ArkivMusic.