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Romantic Music for Piano Four-Hands

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Audio CD, April 14, 2009
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  • Audio CD (April 14, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cedille Records
  • ASIN: B001TD1XKI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #565,370 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Sonata (Grand duo) for piano, 4 hands in E minor, Op. 7: 1. Allegro espressivo
2. Sonata (Grand duo) for piano, 4 hands in E minor, Op. 7: 2. Romanza
3. Sonata (Grand duo) for piano, 4 hands in E minor, Op. 7: 3. Finale: Agitato
4. Burleskes (6) for piano, 4 hands, Op. 58: No. 4. Schnell und grotesk
5. Polonaise for piano in D major, WWV 23a
6. Grande valse di bravura, for piano, 4 hands ('Le bal de Berne'), S. 615 (LW B1)
7. Norwegian Dances (4) for piano, 4 hands (or solo piano), Op. 35: No. 2. Allegretto tranquillo e grazioso
8. Norwegian Dances (4) for piano, 4 hands (or solo piano), Op. 35: No. 3. Allegro moderato alla Marcia
9. Suite for piano, 4 hands: Polonaise
10. Suite for piano, 4 hands: Chansonette
11. Suite for piano, 4 hands: Scherzo
12. Sonata for piano, 4 hands in F minor, Op. 22: 1. Allegro moderato e patetico
13. Sonata for piano, 4 hands in F minor, Op. 22: 2. Minuetto (Moderato)
14. Sonata for piano, 4 hands in F minor, Op. 22: 3. Largo - Allegro espressivo

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The 19th century was the heyday of four-hand piano music. Music-making in the home was also at its high point and it is no surprise that composers, both major and minor, turned out reams of pieces to be played by amateurs. The works on this disc, while not necessarily for amateurs, are all intended to be gracious and light, perfect for home musicales. I was not familiar with most of these pieces and for that reason alone am glad it came along.

There are two sonatas for piano four-hands written by the French composer (son of an English father) named Georges Onslow (1784-1853). They are Mendelssohnian, light and pleasant, written in such a way that they sound inevitable in their form and harmonies. The three Burlesques (from a group of Six Burlesques, Op. 58) by Max Reger (1873-1916) are both ingeniously crafted and entirely enjoyable in impact. The last of them, No. 6, makes witty use of 'Ach, du lieber Augustin' and subjects it to Reger's crafty counterpoint. There is a Polonaise from early in the career of Richard Wagner. It is negligible but pleasant enough. On the other hand, there is the Grand Valse di Bravura by Liszt which is big in size and impact. It is rather Chopinesque but has some of Liszt's expected virtuosity. It is actually a four-hand arrangement of a piece that was originally for two-hands and it is not clear whether it was arranged by Liszt himself or someone else. In any case, it is impressive.

Included are two (Nos. 2 & 3) of Grieg's familiar Norwegian Dances, Op. 35, in their original four-hand form; nowadays they are perhaps better known in Hans Sitt's orchestration. They have Grieg's charm coupled with a distinct folk-dance feeling. Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) is represented by his Suite for Piano Four-Hands.
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