Bob James - Keiko Matsui in recital One Piano, Four-Hands
Script courtesy of Bob James
In the 18 and 19th century the practice of arranging symphonic music for 2 performers at one piano was very popular. For those who didn't have the opportunity to attend orchestral concerts, it was the only chance to hear the great masterworks, and most composers published arrangements of their larger works for piano. Many compositions started out as piano sketches and were later orchestrated. Using 2 pianists at one instrument made it possible to bring out more of the orchestral textures. One of the composers who often wrote original works for Piano Four-Hands was Joseph Haydn. We have taken one of his charming pieces, in which he uses the idiom to clearly identify two characters, the teacher (lower part) & student (upper part). We thought this was a good way to introduce this style, which has many challenges different from normal technique; such as avoiding the collision of hands, and the control of the pedaling. We started with Haydn's basic theme, and then adapted it into a contemporary story of our own. Please join us on this adventure back into a different era. Bob James

(C) 2001 Music Gang Productions