Fun Duet Repertoire

Anyone wonder why it’s been so quiet around here lately?  I thought I’d give all of you a peek at what’s been keeping me busy the last few weeks, and some ideas for fun duet repertoire… all in one post!  

I’ve been privileged to serve as a coordinator for our local association’s Multi-Piano Concerts for the last three years.  It’s an exciting program – this year’s event featured two concerts with 16 grand pianos and over 450 performers.  (That’s a LOT of piano keys and fingers!!)  

One of my favorite parts of the planning process is the opportunity to play through stacks and stacks (and stacks!) of duet literature with a team of colleagues each spring to choose a theme and repertoire for the concerts.   This year’s concerts featured the theme “Destination: Musique”, with music that highlighted various destinations around the world.  

Here’s a list of some of my favorite pieces from the year, for any of you who enjoy teaching duet literature, or might be looking for some new pieces for upcoming studio recitals:

(Note: Click on any of the highlighted titles below to view video clips of the pieces from the concert)

Late Elementary Repertoire:

A Bell Carol and Jalapeno Hop, both by Melody Bober
These are from her Grand Duets Series, Book 3.   I’ve used several pieces out of this book with students, and love them all.  

The Sky is Dark – Traditional Taiwanese, arr. Emilie Lin
This is definitely an “off-the-beaten-path” kind of piece!  It’s from a book titled Gifts of Asia that contains primarily solo repertoire, along with a couple of duets.  Lots of fun pieces in here for a world-music theme recital.  

Early Intermediate Repertoire:

Upside-Down Tango by Martha Mier  
Like duets with some kind of fun gimmick?   This piece requires primo and secondo players to switch places half-way through.    My students loved it (although one nearly fell off the bench during the concert!).

Springtime Waltz by Glenda Austin
This is a lovely light piece that appealed to several of the girls in my studio.  It’s also available in a solo arrangement (see this post for more details).

Irish Air by Robert Vandall
This lyrical piece gives the secondo player a great share of melody playing.  (Sorry, no video clip to share for this one, but you can hear a sample audio clip here.)

Intermediate Repertoire:

The Winds of Time by Kathleen Jendrusik and Carolyn Miller 
There’s lots of drama in this piece… and it’s easier than it sounds, so it’s a good piece for busy teen students.  

Midnight Sea by Mike Springer
This piece is full of surprises – unique harmonies in the opening, and a melody that shifts evenly between the primo and secondo player.  

Bravo Brasilia by Glenda Austin
This piece is, in a word… addicting.  The Latin rhythms are a bit of a challenge, but well worth it!!  (No video clip on this on either… sorry!  You can hear a clip and see music here.)

Late Intermediate Repertoire:

Morning Has Broken, Traditional Gaelic, arr. Melody Bober
I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of teaching this piece.   It’s a beautiful piece, and a fantastic arrangement.  It’s available in FJH’s In Recital Duets, Book 6.

Prayer for Peace by David Karp
This piece features a beautiful, soulful melody.  It’s been a hit with several of my students over the years.

Big River Barn Dance by Carrie Kraft
This lively duet is always a crowd pleaser!  It’s got a rustic, “Americana” feel reminiscent of Copland.

Advanced Repertoire:

Dragon Dance by Nancy Faber
This was a real showstopper – fast, flashy and SO fun to play!!

The Scarlet Cape by Ralph Federer
Want a laugh for a Friday?  Go check out this duet team performing this piece.  Even without the antics, it’s a fantastic piece!   

A full repertoire list from this year’s concerts (including information on where to find these duets) is available on the KCMTA webpage.  

Have any of you run across new duets this year that you love?  Or have any long-time favorites?  If so, I’d love for you to leave a comment below and share about them… I’m always on the lookout for new pieces to add to my duet library!!


Comments

Fun Duet Repertoire — 4 Comments

    • LaDona,

      Thanks for sharing about this fun trio piece – I just ordered a copy off Janet Gieck’s website!! I haven’t used trios in the past, but I’ve seen several interesting new trio pieces come out this year. It must be time to give it a try!!

      Thanks!
      Jennifer

  1. Could you check the link for Midnight Sea – I think it’s Morning Has Broken instead.
    Thanks. LOVE the music!!! I’d love to do that, but not enough pianos in town which could be moved for that. Even a couple of pianos together would sound WONDERFUL! Thanks for sharing all this! I wll have to try some of these pieces!

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