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Duelling duos and duets

As a pianist, I envy the comaraderie of orchestra players and admire the chummy cast of musical productions. I long for the portability of musical instruments. Being a pianist is a lonely experience. Whether you're a soloist or an accompanist, you are by yourself --- the only pianist.

Unless, of course, there are more than one piano and one pianist.

At the Steinway to Heaven Welkom Fest, there were at least six pianists, one upright piano, and one Steinway grand.

It is heaven to be in a room full of fun-loving pianists, two pianos, and plenty of sheet music to sightread from.

Heleen brought the sheet music for "Champagne Toccata" which calls for four pianists and two pianos. It's 8-hand, 2-piano music which several got to sightread.

Helmut brought yet another 8-hand piece that I was fortunate to participate in. He also brought the duo (2 pianists, 2 pianos) by Darius Milhaud - Scaramouche which he and his eldest daughter had played in his Steinway welcome party almost ten years ago.

I arranged the famous Happy Birthday tune for four hands, one piano. Ahti and I sightread this easy piece for his upcoming birthday.

As the evening wore on, the demand for duet music grew. Among Helmut's extensive portfolio of music was a six-hand, one piano duet that called for the pianist in the middle to play the lowest and highest notes. This meant that Rie, who sat between me and Ahti, had to cross over to the extreme treble and bass clefs. We were not only sandwiched but also entangled in a curious fashion. I can't wait for the photo to be developed so I can show you what I mean!

23 June 2004 Wednesday

Scaramouche on 2 pianos (sample)
mp3 (535 kB)
composed by
Darius Milhaud
performed by
Helmut, Rie, Ahti, Allan or Heleen
recorded by
Robert Bekkers
Related links:
Klavierspielen den ganzen Tag
Sightreading piano duets
Improvising piano duets
Steinway to Heaven Welkom Fest
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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