Early 19th-century Piano Music For Four Hands On T

Album cover art for upc 5902547017495
Label: DUX
Catalog: DUX1749

Marek Toporowski and IrmIna Obonska Piano Duo

Starting in the second half of the 18th century, keyboard (especially piano) music was a peculiar area of artistic work developed mainly for the purpose of music-making in bourgeois homes. An important part of this repertoire is comprised of transcriptions intended originally for larger ensembles; thus, the texture of works for four hands is closer to that of compositions for orchestra than for piano. The fact that the works were performed in a home environment or in a situation of master-student contact also assumes a certain intimacy manifest in the frequent crossing of the left hand of the performer playing the primo part and the right hand of the performer playing the secondo part. The aforementioned two elements are quite visible in the first masterpieces of the genre: the sonatas written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for himself and his sister Nannerl. De facto, the later 19th-cen-tury literature for four hands follows in considerable measure the trail blazed by Mozart. Of course, in many works, there is also no lack of virtuosic elements. The expansion of the piano keyboard range was also conducive to systematic and complete exploration of the freshly-gained areas of the instrument’s range. The broad four-hands texture represents a superb field for this type of procedures, as is quite visible, for example, in one of Ferdinand Ries’ polonaises. The present album presents a stylistically diverse selection of works composed in the first half of the 19th century, selected to display as fully as possible the capabilities of the piano built between 1845 and 1847 by the Traugott Berndt company, an instrument whose sound characteristics are eminently appropriate to the works being performed, despite its being of later date relative to these works.

Price: $28.98