Greatest works for two pianos

Posted by: pianoloverus

Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 01:52 PM

Inspired by the recent posting by Thracozaag I began to think about what works would be on a list of the greatest two piano(without orchestra)works.

Not being very familiar with this genre I could only come up with a few:
Mozart: Sonata for two piano
Ravel(transcribed by Ravel): La Valse
Rachmaninov:Suites Nos. 1 and 2
Brahms: Variations on a Theme (not really)by Haydn

Which would be on your list of greatest two piano works?

Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 01:55 PM

I think that the Poulenc sonata is also brilliant... And the Milhaud Scaramuch (sp?) suite...
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:02 PM

All those mentioned are wonderful. And to me, the Mozart is the ultimate model, and the ultimate. smile

Speaking of whom, there's also his Concerto for 2 Pianos, which I love too.
Posted by: AldenH

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:17 PM

For me, Messiaen Visions de l'Amen without question. I find it at least as captivating, if not more, than Vingt Regards.
Posted by: carey

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:19 PM

Originally Posted By: AldenH
For me, Messiaen Visions de l'Amen without question.

AMEN !!!! ha
Posted by: ABC Vermonter

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:23 PM

Schubert Fantasie.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:30 PM

Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
Schubert Fantasie.


I think that's for 4 hands on one piano, unless he wrote another one for two pianos specifically.

Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole works for both 4 hands and 2 pianos. I like that one a lot!
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:41 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Originally Posted By: ABC Vermonter
Schubert Fantasie.


I think that's for 4 hands on one piano....

Yes. smile
Posted by: im@me

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:46 PM

liszt's reminiscences de don juan all the way





__________________________________________________________________
Bach: Partita no.4
Mozart: Sonata in F k.533
Chopin:Some sort of large scale work (haven't decided yet)
Chopin:Selected Mazurkas
Liszt:Six consolations
Brahms: Hungarian Dance no.5
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 02:59 PM

Originally Posted By: im@me
liszt's reminiscences de don juan all the way.

With 2 pianos I might have a chance to play the 1 piano version. ha
Posted by: BruceD

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 03:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: im@me
liszt's reminiscences de don juan all the way.

With 2 pianos I might have a chance to play the 1 piano version. ha


I can't find any reference to a two-piano version of the "Reminiscences de Don Juan."

Regards,
Posted by: Kreisler

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 03:17 PM

Ligeti 3 Pieces
Posted by: Mark_C

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 03:32 PM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
I can't find any reference to a two-piano version of the "Reminiscences de Don Juan."

I had never heard of it, but quick googling did show reference to Liszt having done such a version. (I can't tell you anything more about it because I didn't click further.)
Posted by: argerichfan

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 04:16 PM

Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: BruceD
I can't find any reference to a two-piano version of the "Reminiscences de Don Juan."

I had never heard of it, but quick googling did show reference to Liszt having done such a version.

Published by Schott in 1874, though I couldn't find the date that Liszt actually made the arrangement.

I know it has been recorded at least once, and quite interestingly I have read (cannot recall where) that Liszt's two-piano version is in no way a mere simplification of the original. In fact, he will occasionally add to the existing solo piano with the result that some of the most difficult parts of the original are unchanged!
Posted by: GeorgeB

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 04:19 PM

Saint Saenes transcriptions of:
Liszt B minor sonata
Chopin B minor sonata (no3)

I know it isn't originally written for two pianos but it is so much easier and with decent sight readers it is a heck of a lot of fun to play through
Ravel transcription of Debussy nocturnes.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 04:28 PM

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB
Saint Saenes transcriptions of:
Liszt B minor sonata
Chopin B minor sonata (no3)

I know it isn't originally written for two pianos but it is so much easier and with decent sight readers it is a heck of a lot of fun to play through.
"Great" or just an interesting novelty?
Posted by: mrenaud

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 05:05 PM

Boulez - Structures II

(Avoid Structures I, unless you really like that sort of stuff).
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 05:09 PM

Grieg's arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas K533, K545 and Fantasia K475. One pianist plays Mozart's original, the second pianist plays Grieg's 'take' on Mozart, adding some piquancy to the harmonies as well as additional counterpoint.

They have been recorded by Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaya, no less.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 05:12 PM

Originally Posted By: bennevis
Grieg's arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas K533, K545 and Fantasia K475. One pianist plays Mozart's original, the second pianist plays Grieg's 'take' on Mozart, adding some piquancy to the harmonies as well as additional counterpoint.

They have been recorded by Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaya, no less.
GREAT??
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 05:17 PM

Not Grieg's finest moments. Another pianist and I performed one of those years and years ago, pretty much for amusement.
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 05:31 PM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Grieg's arrangement of Mozart's Sonatas K533, K545 and Fantasia K475. One pianist plays Mozart's original, the second pianist plays Grieg's 'take' on Mozart, adding some piquancy to the harmonies as well as additional counterpoint.

They have been recorded by Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaya, no less.
GREAT??


YES!!!
Posted by: fledgehog

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 06:39 PM

The two-piano version of Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 08:18 PM

Would Ive's pieces that use quarter-tone-offset pianos count? crazy
Posted by: DameMyra

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 08:41 PM

Lutoslawski's Paganini Variations. (Not sure if you would call them "great" but they are very effective in performance.)
Posted by: DanS

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 08:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Would Ive's pieces that use quarter-tone-offset pianos count? crazy
OMG, I had no idea that existed... I know what I'm listening to tonight!


I'm not a huge fan of two piano works, but I do like Debussy En blanc et noir. I once heard James Williams (jazz pianist) work the opening phrase into a solo...great stuff.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 09:13 PM

Stravinsky's Concerto.

With orchestra, Carnival of the Animals, and Poulenc's Concerto. In between, Bartok's Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion.
Posted by: AldenH

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/23/13 11:44 PM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Would Ive's pieces that use quarter-tone-offset pianos count? crazy


YES. What a brilliant work.

Originally Posted By: mrenaud
Boulez - Structures II

(Avoid Structures I, unless you really like that sort of stuff).


Both intrigue me. I really need to take a listen to both.

Originally Posted By: GeorgeB

Ravel transcription of Debussy nocturnes.


WANT. SRSLY. Nuages is one of my all-time favorite works.
Posted by: Lemon Pledge

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 07:08 AM

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Stravisnky Concerto. (edit: Sorry, BDB, I didn't see that.)

I'm not surprised that no one has mentioned the Brahms Sonata in F Minor. I'm not mentioning it either.

Bartok Sonata for Two Pianos & Percussion is, if it counts here, at the very top of the list.
Posted by: wr

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 07:43 AM

Originally Posted By: BruceD
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: im@me
liszt's reminiscences de don juan all the way.

With 2 pianos I might have a chance to play the 1 piano version. ha


I can't find any reference to a two-piano version of the "Reminiscences de Don Juan."



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saUUBQxXnw8
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 09:54 AM

The Brahms F Minor sonata for two pianos, in my opinion, works so much better in the Quintet form. But yeah, Bartok's sonata for two pianos and percussion is ROCKIN'!
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 10:06 AM

I wouldn't term it necessarily "great", but it was fun banging around on the two-piano version of the Planets (especially Mercury), and I've always been fond of the Op. 58 set of Medtner's. The two-piano version of Les Preludes is pretty nifty, and something I've always been itching to play.
Posted by: Orange Soda King

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 10:54 AM

I actually think the first movement of Brahms' 4th symphony works pretty well in Brahms' own 2-piano arrangement, as well as the last movement of his 3rd symphony.
Posted by: pianoloverus

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 11:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
I wouldn't term it necessarily "great", but it was fun banging around on the two-piano version of the Planets (especially Mercury)...
For those who haven't seen the fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO98n0sgFIA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCqtz6__GrA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1FLhjSz7us
Posted by: bennevis

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 11:26 AM

Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
I actually think the first movement of Brahms' 4th symphony works pretty well in Brahms' own 2-piano arrangement, as well as the last movement of his 3rd symphony.


There are quite a few arrangements for two pianos of symphonies, done by the composers themselves - I've got a recording of Shostakovich's 4th for example, as well as Brahms 1. And there's Liszt's of Beethoven's 9th for two pianos too - obviously more bombastic than the solo version....
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 11:59 AM

Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
I wouldn't term it necessarily "great", but it was fun banging around on the two-piano version of the Planets (especially Mercury)...
For those who haven't seen the fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO98n0sgFIA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCqtz6__GrA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1FLhjSz7us
I read the name Koji Attwood in youtube. Isn't he a member here? In any case well done!

Mars doesn't sound too good, with all the brass lacking, but the rest are brill!
Posted by: Pogorelich.

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 12:05 PM

Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Thracozaag
I wouldn't term it necessarily "great", but it was fun banging around on the two-piano version of the Planets (especially Mercury)...
For those who haven't seen the fun.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO98n0sgFIA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCqtz6__GrA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1FLhjSz7us
I read the name Koji Attwood in youtube. Isn't he a member here? In any case well done!

Mars doesn't sound too good, with all the brass lacking, but the rest are brill!


I'm listening to the Brahms now, and it's so good! (And I know how difficult it is, I have to play that in a week - the variation with thirds makes me cringe.. better go practice now)
Posted by: Nikolas

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 12:09 PM

Heh... I should've been more careful...

Reading part of someone's signature is not good... just noticed (and after a PM) which member Koji is! grin Sorry Thracozaag!
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 12:16 PM

No worries, and you should have heard the original bare-bones version of the Planets--Mei-ting and I had to add quite a bit of stuff, haha (I agree--miss the brass as well)
Posted by: FSO

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/24/13 04:58 PM

Bach's concerto in C minor for two harpsichords (played on pianos)?
Posted by: dolce sfogato

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 05:39 AM

Rachmaninoff Suite op.17/Arensky Suite op.15/Milhaud 'Scaramouche'/Ten Holt 'Canto Ostinato'/Saint-Saëns Beethoven-variations op.35/Ravel 'La Valse/Debussy 'En blanc et en noir'/Medtner 'The Knight Errand' op.58-2/Poulenc Sonata/Brahms Sonata op.34, yes, I absolutely adore it, with the Haydn-variations op.56, not to be missed.
Posted by: wr

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 06:39 AM

Max Reger's Variations and Fugue on a theme of Beethoven, op. 86, and his Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue, op. 96, are worth mentioning. The latter is particularly colossal in that strange way that pieces from that era could be (what WAS in the air, anyway?), and that got me to thinking about who might do a good recording of it. And that thought sort of drifted sideways to thinking about the 2-piano version of Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica (another piece for this list). And then I realized the dream team for recording it would be Richard Goode and Peter Serkin.
Posted by: Andromaque

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 07:42 AM

I think that asking for the "greatest" is likely to result in the predictable (Mozart / Schubert and even Lupu/Peraiah ).. But check out this electrifying Sorcerer's Apprentice (Paul Dukas) played brilliantly by Alexander Kobrin and Frederic d'Oria-Nicolas.


Posted by: fnork

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 07:53 AM

Indeed, the Medtner op 58 are way underperformed - I wouldn't hesitate with putting them far high on my list of 2-piano rep. A piece not mentioned so far is Dutilleux Figures des resonances which I found very nice as well. Then there's a bunch of contemporary music that came to my mind, but alas, I can't remember names of composers nor pieces.

...ahh, right, there's a rather effective Dialogo (nr 3) by swedish composer Daniel Börtz.

A little google search on 2-piano rep led me to this page, seems to be a rather detailed listing, including some contemporary rep:

http://www.duolafitte.com/catalogue_en.html
Posted by: fnork

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 07:59 AM

Also, Rachmaninoff's youthful "Russian rhapsody" deserves a mention!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vL_eAb_hS8

Written over the span of some days as far as I remember. Not a bad achievement for an 18-or-so-year-old!
Posted by: gooddog

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 11:51 AM

My favorites, (besides the Mozart sonata), are Mendelssohn's concertos for 2 pianos and the Bach concertos for 2 or 3 pianos. (I much prefer the Bach performed on pianos rather than harpsichords.)
Posted by: didyougethathing

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/27/13 11:53 AM

It's for four hands, but I've always liked Dvorak's Legends.
Posted by: asthecrowflies

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/29/13 07:15 PM

Pletnev's transcription of Prokofiev's Cinderella (played by Pletnev + Martha) is pretty awesome. Also, Shostakovich's Concertino Op 94. And the previously mentioned Bartok!

And why stop with 2 pianos, when you can have 4! Especially when you have Pletnev, Martha, and Kissin playing them:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9FWoBqsNsk
Posted by: BDB

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/29/13 07:42 PM

There are 3 Romantic Waltzes by Chabrier which are impressive. I am not certain what people think of Liszt's Concerto Pathetique, but there is a recording of Bartok and Dohnanyi playing it.
Posted by: Thracozaag

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/29/13 07:44 PM

Originally Posted By: BDB
I am not certain what people think of Liszt's Concerto Pathetique, but there is a recording of Bartok and Dohnanyi playing it.


And what a recording!!
Posted by: DanS

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/29/13 10:29 PM

Originally Posted By: asthecrowflies

And why stop with 2 pianos, when you can have 4!


In that case, I'm voting for Anthiel's Ballet Mecanique.
Posted by: RealPlayer

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/30/13 12:00 AM

Always liked W.F. Bach's Duetto for two harpsichords (that's what my score says -- elsewhere called a concerto I think). Not a "major" work, but few two-piano works are. Fun to play and listen to. Certainly effective on two pianos, but best on two bright, metallic harpsichords.

Extremely imitative between the two parts.

I have an excellent old LP by Rafael Puyana and another harpsichordist.
Posted by: BDB

Re: Greatest works for two pianos - 01/30/13 01:56 AM

The best work with 4 pianos is Stravinsky's Les Noces. It is an incredible ballet, if you are ever fortunate enough to see it performed!