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Whenever I play piano duets with any of my students, they always want to play the Petersburger Schlittenfahrt by Richard Eilenberg!
I found the piece whilst looking through some piano duets in a shop in Bremen, Germany, and loved it straightaway.
’Eilenberg’s musical career began with the study of piano and composition. At 18 years old, he composed his first work - a concert overture. As a volunteer he participated in the Franco-Prussian War from 1870 to 1871. In 1873, Eilenberg became the music director and conductor in Stettin. In 1889, he decided to move to Berlin as a freelance composer, where his second marriage with his wife Dorothee started. They lived on 73 Bremer Street.’
I didn’t know the last bit when I bought the copy, of course - quite a coincidence as this would translate into English as ’Bremen Street’!
I have now decided to make a few instrumental arrangements, as it’s such a catchy tune - well, I think so, anyway!
I have changed some of the original piano figuration to suit the wind instruments better, added an extra repeat, and a couple of ’counter-melodies’. I couldn’t resist a solitary reference to The Lone Ar-ranger! in the alto flute part!
Romanian flautist and flute teacher, Ramona Tutuianu, will be using the piece with her students in the Cluj-Napoca Music Conservatoire. She uses a specially-written bassoon instead of bass flute and this is what you hear on the attached MP3.