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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of  Music
July 26, 2017
Canadian Excellence


Faculty of Music

Course charts history of piano duo repertoire

Oct 17/12

Music Therapy Professor Carolyn Arnason and Professor Emeritus Boyd McDonald have begun teaching a course titled Piano for Four Hands that traces the development of piano duo repertoire from the Age of Enlightenment to modern times. The six-week course is presented by the Laurier Association for Lifelong Learning.

Set in the Music Faculty’s Historical Keyboards Room, the course gives participants the opportunity to use the five-octave replica fortepiano by Thomas McCobb and an original 1851 piano by JB Streicher. These keyboards are charmed instruments for this course as the majority of four hand repertoire was written by composers of the 18th and 19th centuries such as Johann Christian Bach, Mozart, Clementi, Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms. These composers will fill four of the six (two-hour) classes with the two remaining classes featuring French and 20th century composers including Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Poulenc, Stravinsky, Kurtag and Musgrave.

“It will be fascinating to hear music by these composers performed on the colourful historical keyboard compared to the usual experience of classical music being heard on modern instruments,’ McDonald says.

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