The A-Z of the piano

We celebrate the world's most popular instrument with a look at 26 of its greatest features

is for Tea for Two: music for 4 hands

In the days when a piano in the house was the norm rather than the exception, the piano duet was a favourite form of home entertainment. Arrangements of popular classical pieces, overtures and even symphonies took their place beside original works for two players such as the six keyboard duets of Mozart, Schubert’s marches, Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances and Moszkowski’s Spanish Dances.

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Schubert’s masterpiece for piano duet, the Fantasy in F minor, transcends the world of domestic music-making, as do the many works for two pianos, among them Saint-Saëns’s Variations on a theme of Beethoven, Bizet’s Jeux d’enfants, Ravel’s La Valse and Lutosławski’s Paganini Variations.

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