One doesn't often get to hear piano music written for four hands unless one plays it oneself with a friend. Music written for two pianos is not commonly heard in concert and it is unusual to find a private home with two pianos. Many of the great composers since the invention of the piano have written marvelous music to be played by two pianists, and when being able to play music at home was just about the only way to hear it, most of the popular orchestral music was so arranged.
Wonderful music that is today largely known in its orchestral form was originally written for piano duo, the Dvořák Slavonic Dances and the Brahms Hungarian Dances, for example, as well as the latter's Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Rachmaninov wrote two suites for two pianos, Mendelssohn wrote two concerti for two pianos, and Schubert, Mozart and many others wrote for four hands.
We will explore this literature in the pages that follow. Click on the composer links or the links to performances by renowned piano duos below to enjoy this wonderful form of piano music.
You might wonder at the sparsity of names on the lists below. There are many very fine piano duos, but the names I have listed below are those for whom I have already have gathered material for an eventual page. More to come, I promise.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
José and Amparo Iturbi
Gaby and Robery Casadesus
Emil Gilels and Yakov Zak
Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire
Igor Machlak and Olga Kharitonova
For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background
Murder in the House of the Muse
which is also available as an audiobook.
And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:
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