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#387090 - 11/10/06 01:50 AM Exciting two-piano pieces?
virtuoso_735 Offline
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Registered: 05/08/03
Posts: 996
Loc: California
Can you guys reccomend some two-piano pieces for my brother and me to play? I would prefer it to be exciting and dramatic, probably romantic. Difficulty doesn't matter too much but for what it's worth I can play the Tempest sonata and Ballade no.1. Any suggestions? Thanks.
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#387091 - 11/10/06 01:54 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
phonehome Offline
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Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
There's a really nice transcription of Ravel's "Mother Goose" suite for two pianos.

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#387092 - 11/10/06 01:57 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
pianojerome Offline
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Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Rzewski -- Winnsboro Cottonmill Blues

It's not romantic, but it's so exciting.
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#387093 - 11/10/06 02:07 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
BDB Online   content
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Three Romantic Waltzes by Chabrier. Mozart's Sonata. En Blanc et Noir by Debussy. Concerto for Two Pianos Solo by Stravinsky.

Those are increasing order of difficulty. When you get through them, ask again.
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#387094 - 11/10/06 03:16 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Mr. E Offline
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Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 426
The famous Schubert Fantasia in f minor Op. 103.

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#387095 - 11/10/06 04:25 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
JohnEB Offline
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Registered: 04/20/06
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Loc: Belgium
Poulenc wrote a few pieces for 2 pianos including a wonderful and very exciting sonata
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#387096 - 11/10/06 07:59 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
drumour Online   content
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Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Scotland
Scaramouche - Chabrier


John
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#387097 - 11/10/06 09:31 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Max W Offline
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Posts: 2846
Loc: RHUL
 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnEB:
Poulenc wrote a few pieces for 2 pianos including a wonderful and very exciting sonata [/b]
Yes the 4 hands Sonata is great - quite awkward to perform (I'm sure intentionally!) but totally worth it.

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#387098 - 11/10/06 09:35 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
BruceD Offline
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If Rachmaninoff is Romantic enough for you, try the two Suites for two pianos:

Fantaisie-Tableaux (Suite No 1) Op 5*
Suite No 2, Op 17

The Symphonic Dances of Rachmaninoff were also scored for two pianos. They are "fun" works.

* The first movement of this suite, Barcarolle, has always been a particular favourite of mine. It is as rich and lush as Rachmaninoff gets, with lots of 2 against 3 in both pianos at the same time.

Regards,
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#387099 - 11/10/06 10:53 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
pianoanne Offline
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Registered: 11/02/04
Posts: 650
Loc: Pacific NW
Lutoslavsky Paginni Variations. They are difficult though.

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#387100 - 11/10/06 11:24 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
BDB Online   content
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Scaramouche is not by Chabrier. It is by Milhaud. The famous Schubert Fantasia in f minor Op. 103 is not famous enough for some people to know that like all Schubert's works for four hands, it was written for one piano. Poulenc wrote a sonata for one piano four hands, and one for two pianos.
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#387101 - 11/10/06 11:34 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
My personal favorite (which I can play) is
Grand Tarantelle for Piano and Orchestra by Louis Moreau Gottschalk.

He was perhaps the only American composer that was widely accepted and acclaimed in Europe yet his pieces have a uniquely American sound to them. Many of his tone poems (because they tell stories via the music) memorialize life in the civil war era and he was often called "the father of ragtime."

This piece however is distinctly classical.

You can unload a terrific version of it from iTunes. Get the one with Maurice Abravnel on piano accompanied by the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

The four-hand reduction is slightly abridged as well as arranged for reasonably advanced players. If you can play Malaquena or a Chopin Valse or Polonaise you can play this.

I have the book somewhere. Let's see. . .

Victor Herbert? No.
Sigmund Romberg? No.
Cole Porter? No.

I guess I don't have it handy. It is in print and it's available at music stores. It's pretty much a direct reprint of the old old victorian-looking sheet music but it is great fun to play.

My brother and I played duets until he scored a near-perfect SAT score and got kidnapped by some ivy league school and i never saw him again.

Get it, or get the itune and let me know what you think. I think you will either love it or hate it.

USAPT
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#387102 - 11/10/06 11:37 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
PS: I use a digital piano to record primo or secondo and then play it back and it works well enough. 64-note polyphony minimum if you plan on using the sustain pedal ever.

USAPT
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#387103 - 11/10/06 11:46 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Mr. E Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 426
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
The famous Schubert Fantasia in f minor Op. 103 is not famous enough for some people to know that like all Schubert's works for four hands, it was written for one piano. [/b]
Oops, overlooked/misread the original post. Thanks though for the un-sarcastic, incredibly warm and kind correction of my oversight. :rolleyes:

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#387104 - 11/10/06 12:32 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
BDB Online   content
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I am afraid that I was expressing my aversion to the Fantasie, which has a popularity which I feel not only is unmerited, but ends up obscuring the many better duets that Schubert wrote.
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#387105 - 11/10/06 12:36 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
frida1 Offline
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Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 199
Loc: Pacific Northwest
It's not romantic in nature, but Scaramouche, by Milhaud is very exciting and fun, and quite challenging to do up to tempo.

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#387106 - 11/10/06 01:51 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2960
Loc: western Wisconsin
Norman Dello Joio, Aria and Tocatta for two pianos.
Fun, not difficult, and effective.

Harder: Copland's arrangement of Billy the Kid for two pianos.

Even Harder: Brubeck's "Points on Jazz" arranged for two pianos.
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#387107 - 11/10/06 02:09 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
abe Offline
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Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 143
Loc: Los Angeles
Shostakovich wrote a tarantella for two pianos. It's fun and easy, maybe too easy for you.
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#387108 - 11/10/06 02:51 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
drumour Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/08/05
Posts: 863
Loc: Scotland
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
Scaramouche is not by Chabrier. It is by Milhaud. The famous Schubert Fantasia in f minor Op. 103 is not famous enough for some people to know that like all Schubert's works for four hands, it was written for one piano. Poulenc wrote a sonata for one piano four hands, and one for two pianos. [/b]
You're right of course. I remembered correctly just as I logged on just now.


John
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#387109 - 11/10/06 02:59 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
JohnEB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Belgium
 Quote:
Originally posted by Max W:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnEB:
Poulenc wrote a few pieces for 2 pianos including a wonderful and very exciting sonata [/b]
Yes the 4 hands Sonata is great - quite awkward to perform (I'm sure intentionally!) but totally worth it. [/b]
I was referring to teh 4 hands/2 pianos sonata, which I think is better than the 4 hand/1 piano work.

Someone else mentioned the Symphonic Dances (Rachmaninov). They're great too, at least to listen to. I even prefer the piano version to the orchestral one.
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#387110 - 11/10/06 05:38 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
py-anno Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/06
Posts: 122
Loc: Missouri
what about the holst's the planets???

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#387111 - 11/10/06 06:44 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
U S A P T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 1645
Loc: An Indiana University
i love this thread!!!!

When it peters out I'm gonna print it up and check out a bunch of these pieces.
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#387112 - 11/10/06 08:03 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I know these are a not Romantic, but how about some of Mozart's Piano Concertos? These have been transcribed for two pianos, and not all of them are difficult.

Another suggestion is Clementi's Sonatas for two pianos.

On the Romantic, and more difficult side, try some of the works by Louis Gottschalk.

Good luck with these. When you can find someone to play along with, piano playing takes on a whole new meaning.

John
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#387113 - 11/10/06 10:10 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Piano*Dad Online   content
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I'm surprised that Dvorak's Slavonic Dances haven't been mentioned yet. They fit the bill perfectly .....exciting, dramatic, and definitely romantic.
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#387114 - 11/10/06 10:17 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
whippen boy Offline
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Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I love the Slavonic Dances - but as far as I know, the most well-known arrangement is for four-hands.

I play for a high-school string class and we are working on one of these now. Such wonderful music.

 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnEB:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Max W:
 Quote:
Originally posted by JohnEB:
Poulenc wrote a few pieces for 2 pianos including a wonderful and very exciting sonata [/b]
Yes the 4 hands Sonata is great - quite awkward to perform (I'm sure intentionally!) but totally worth it. [/b]
I was referring to teh 4 hands/2 pianos sonata, which I think is better than the 4 hand/1 piano work.[/b]
I have to disagree there... I've always liked the 4-hand Sonata and think it is a shame that so few people know it. I've tried to read through the 2-piano Sonata many times but it just doesn't grab me the same way.
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#387115 - 11/10/06 10:44 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Piano*Dad Online   content
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Registered: 04/12/05
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Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Indeed you're right, the Slavonic Dances are four-hand pieces. Heck, you can play 'em on two pianos if you want!
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#387116 - 11/11/06 07:18 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
I've performed the Brahms "Liebeslieder Waltzes" both ways.

It's nice to have an entire piano to yourself \:D but on the other hand, it is so much easier to stay in synch when the other performer is sharing a keyboard with you.
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#387117 - 11/11/06 09:36 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
L'echange Offline
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Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
I love schubert's fantasy for 4 hands...

two piano music? Ligeti wrote some great music for 2 pianos

What about Messiaen's visions d'amen? 4 hands or 2 pianos?
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#387118 - 11/11/06 07:49 PM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Mr. E Offline
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Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 426
 Quote:
Originally posted by BDB:
I am afraid that I was expressing my aversion to the Fantasie, which has a popularity which I feel not only is unmerited, but ends up obscuring the many better duets that Schubert wrote. [/b]
I apologize if you really weren't making a jab at me. I understand your point about the over-popularity of the Fantas(ie, ia, y?), but I'm not sure I'd call its popularity unmerited. It seemed to fit his description perfectly, that is until I realized he said 2 pianos and not 4 hands.

Another great one is Poulenc's concerto for 2 pianos, unfortunately then you also have to find an orchestra willing to play along.

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#387119 - 11/12/06 06:50 AM Re: Exciting two-piano pieces?
Shellman Offline
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Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 133
Loc: East Riding, Yorkshire, Englan...
How about Brahms Sonata for 2 pianos, Op.34b? It's the original version of the piano quintet with the same opus number (without the "b" on the end!)

Also try Liszt - any of the 4 hand / 2 piano works, mostly arrangments of his other works but there are many of these so just pick one (in total, I calculate that Liszt's 2 piano / 4 hands works would fit on about 10 - 12 CDs. Come on some enterprising record company, get on with it and record them all)
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