Piano pieces for four hands
September 16, 2011 3:49 PM   Subscribe

What are some piano pieces for four hands? I'm NOT looking for duets, only pieces where two people simultaneously play the same piano.
posted by mermaidcafe to Media & Arts (17 answers total)
For you to play, or for you to listen to?
posted by John Cohen at 3:52 PM on September 16, 2011

I don't know if this is something that can be done with four hands. I honestly know nothing about piano, but this song seems to require more than just one person. If you can do it, post a video! You'll be the only one!
posted by Krazor at 4:13 PM on September 16, 2011

Schubert has a lot of four handed repertoire... From the "storms of life" to simpler fugues. The Fantasy in F mol (940) is pretty well known too. If you're into Brahms (I'm not) he's also got a volume of four handed pieces.
Samuel Barber has a few four handed pieces, such as the aptly named Pas de Deux (CAUTION: High SCHMALZT linker).

So that's evidence of their existence, but could you be a little more specific as to what you're looking for?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 4:17 PM on September 16, 2011

There's a lot of stuff for piano four-hands on IMSLP. These will all be for one piano, four hands - they have a separate category for two pianos, four hands.
posted by kyla at 4:31 PM on September 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

Mozart wrote a number of pieces for four hands which my roommate and I used to play in college: Sonata for Keyboard Four-hands in C major, K. 19d; Sonata in C major for piano four-hands, K. 521; Sonata in D major for piano four-hands, K. 381 for instance.

Mozart also wrote some for four hands, two pianos, but I'd have to google that.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:51 PM on September 16, 2011

Off hand, Stravinsky arranged Rite of Spring for Piano four hands.
posted by invitapriore at 5:27 PM on September 16, 2011

Brahms's Hungarian Dances, 16 Waltzes Op. 39, Liebeslieder Waltzes (includes vocal quartet though)
Debussy--Petite Suite
Mozart has a bunch of sonatas, as mentioned.
Faure's Dolly Suite
Rachmaninoff did some too, the one that comes to mind is the Barcarolle, but there are others in that set.
posted by astapasta24 at 5:38 PM on September 16, 2011

Heart and Soul is the American pop classic for four hands.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:47 PM on September 16, 2011

Came to say the four-hand Rite of Spring, will leave by saying Reich's Piano Phase.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2011

Also Stravinsky's Les Noces is for Piano 8 hands....
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:03 PM on September 16, 2011

Satie wrote a good number of pieces for four hands.
posted by bzbb at 7:48 PM on September 16, 2011

Check out Zofo Duet's repertoire list.
They're awesome, by the way.
posted by purplefiber at 9:49 PM on September 16, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you all for your suggestions! I'd discovered some of Satie's pieces, notably "Parade," but wasn't sure of others.

I'm not going to be playing these, but I hope to listen, though this is mostly research for something I'm writing. :)
posted by mermaidcafe at 10:04 PM on September 16, 2011

Googling for 'quatre-mains' (which is four-hands in French, and is the name that is used for these pieces in Dutch and possibly also other languages) gave me this sheet music site which might give you some ideas.
posted by rjs at 2:41 AM on September 17, 2011

Schubert's Fantasy in f minor is quite a masterpiece in my opinion. If you're looking for a recording, I strongly recommend Richter and Britten's performance.

Ravel's ma mere l'oye is very simple and hypnotic. Argerich's recordings are always exquisite.
Debussy's En blanc et noir has not been mentioned yet I think.
posted by snufkin5 at 3:34 AM on September 17, 2011

Brahms' Liebeslieder Waltzes are choral pieces but the accompaniment is for four hands. I am sure you could find some piano-only arrangements of these gorgeous melodies.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 6:00 AM on September 17, 2011

Edvard Grieg has some four hand pieces; Norwegian dances 1-4 (op 35) are probably the most famous, also Two symphonic pieces (op 14).
posted by mummimamma at 7:30 AM on September 18, 2011

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