Piano Animals (duet) by Heleen Verleur – Live performance Weblog


This 31-page ebook of 4 hand piano music is sheer FUN with a capital F. The composer Heleen Verleur is aware of simply what pianists love taking part in: music that’s simple to learn, sounds onerous to play, however is a lot enjoyable that you simply don’t wish to cease till it ends.

Commissioned by the Groninger Piano Pageant 2017 the place it was premiered, “Piano Animals” is a bit that belongs in each quatre mains repertoire. It’s programmatic, with photos and sounds of animals of their environments. The 452 measures are filled with selection and distinction. The primo and secondo are duetting with one another, interacting in each which approach doable, making the expertise of taking part in collectively really exhilarating.

The duet opens with monkeys scrambling about. Each primo and secondo play quarter notes in staccato with accents and charm notes right here and there. Anybody who has visited a zoo, gone on safari, or watched monkeys in motion will relate to the 68 measures of nonstop exercise, apart from a couple of surprises requiring each pianists to cease taking part in and name “ae, oe” or clap their fingers, or stomp their toes in unison.

No sooner do the monkeys depart, the wild pigs march in. They transfer in a single route searching for meals after which flip round to hunt within the different route. Black key clusters, proper hand, left hand mimic the best way they transfer about.

Then it’s whale watch season. The whales waltz within the ocean, whether or not Pacific or Atlantic, they know they’re being watched in Hawaii between November and Might and the north japanese coast of the USA from Might to October.

Once I acquired the ebook in November 2021, I contemplated how I might play it. Do I report myself taking part in one half after which play in opposition to the recording? If not self report, how would I discover a pianist who can be prepared to collaborate?

How would I discover a pianist who may sightread and would sit subsequent to me, not socially distanced, and play collectively? (This might not be a query earlier than the pandemic, as that’s what musicians do after they meet — play collectively.)

On Oahu, Camilla and I sat in entrance of her piano whereas her husband Mark turned pages and recorded the primary and solely time we ever performed collectively. I had simply met her for the primary time that day.

Pianodieren / Piano Animals by Heleen Verleur is out there from Donemus E-book Publishers within the Netherlands.

It’s fascinating to recall that after I first arrived to reside in Hawai’i, I began a undertaking “Name for piano scores: multi-hand music.” Over forty composers submitted their works. Now that I’ve left Hawai’i and based mostly myself in Boston, I uncover this thrilling piece by Heleen, with whom I’ve had the pleasure of sightreading music the primary time we met in Amsterdam. The ritual is repeated on Oahu the place I met Camilla for the primary time in December 2021.


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