Friday, February 6, 2015

Piano, Piano

No. 184 of the ongoing ITYWLTMT series of audio montages can be found in our archives at


To launch our "Double, Double" series, it is appropriate to listen to some work requiring  two performers, and in this case, two pianists.

When speaking of pino duos, according to the Grove Dictionary, we may mean two pianists playing on a single instrument (what we call "piano four-hands) or on two instruments (more commonly known as two pianos). Easy enough...

Interestugly, there seems to be more works for piano four-hands ghen for two pianos. I guess that may be because most households only have one keybord and more than one keyboardist. Just saying!

The piano duo becomes more popular as a compositional genre in the mid- to late- 18th century. We know Mozart would play piano duets with his sister, and write sonatas for that combination, so did Schubert write extensively for duets. Brahms' Hungarian dances, Dvořák's Slavonic dances, Liszt's reductions of the Beethoven symphonies... All piano duets!

Later, GriegDebussyStravinsky and Bartók. The French also -  Jeux d'enfants by BizetDolly by Fauré, two sonatas by Poulenc and Ma mère l'oye by Ravel.

Many of the above composers found their way on our podcast - Mozart via Busoni's transcription of a fantasy originally intended for a Flötenuhr (tthat is, a musical clock), and one of the two piano duet suites byArensky.

At the keyboard, well-known duos, all-star duos, and journeymen of the genre.

I think you will love this music too!

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