Music at the Library: Four Hands on Keyboard
Composers have been writing music for piano four hands as long as they have been composing for solo piano. All the composers of the First Viennese School in the late 18th century such as Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven wrote for this genre. Four hand compositions were used both for concerts as well as for teaching. Susan Nicholson and David Dyer will be performing music written for this discipline.
The Dolly Suite by Gabriel Fauré was written for the daughter of his friend Emma Bardac who became the second wife of Debussy. When Emma's daughter Hélène was born she was so tiny that they nicknamed her Dolly. The suite consists of 6 pieces that represent different moods of childhood. It runs the gamut of tender to severe, grave to happy. This was the only music Fauré ever gave titles for. These pieces were ultimately orchestrated, as was Mother Goose Suite by Maurice Ravel, which is also on the program. Each movement from the suite depicts a character from the Mother Goose fairy tales. Ravel’s intention was to "awaken the poetry of childhood."
Another piece being performed is the Romantic, folkloric Slavonic Dance op 72, no 2. Dvorák wrote the Slavonic Dances at the request of a German publisher who was friends of Johannes Brahms. European folk music was in style at the time so he based the dance on his Bohemian homeland. After they were published Dvorak orchestrated them.