Songs of Home Bonnie Brown and Louisa Breen Dwarf Music There’s a long tradition of Australian music for piano duo or duet. Think back to Frank Hutchens and Lindley Evans in the 1940s, to Larry Sitsky and Donald Hollier in the 60s, Ian Farr and Nigel Butterley, Michael Kieran Harvey and Bernadette Harvey-Balkus, and a few others. Usually one of the pianists is a composer, so there’s a deal of repertoire for this combination. Two young Australian pianists, Bonnie Brown and Louisa Breen, have taken to mining and expanding that repertoire, fruits of which are in this very attractive first album. It’s inevitable that our greatest composer-pianist should get a guernsey. Grainger’s Porgy and Bess Fantasy is one of those pieces that sweeps you away, and this performance almost sweeps the memory of the famous Labeque sisters recording over two decades ago. Full of verve and syncopated sass, it’s saucy and delicious and teases the possibility of more GershwinGrainger in the future. The album ends with a surprising discovery, the Toccata for Two (1973) by Miriam Hyde, long neglected and sometimes unjustly dismissed, but here restored to her rightful place in the pianistic pantheon. Along the way there are nine charming miniatures by Ross Edwards, two Bach Re-inventions from the ubiquitous Elena Kats-Chernin, and a witty Stravinskian makeover from Nigel Westlake. But the selling point here is the opening work — Peter Sculthorpe’s last major work, completed just before his death in August 2014 and written especially for this duo. His Island Songs opens with a plaintive didgeridoo lament from Russell Smith, then unfurl into familiar Sculthorpe territory. Like many last testaments, this work aches with world-weary calm and resignation, but these two superlative musicians do not allow Sculthorpe’s unique and lasting vision to be overwhelmed by sentiment.