PRB Novelty Piano Series: Petersburger Schlittenfahrt [Four Hands]
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’!
When we play it, we always repeat the penultimate section, but when I was transcribing it, I decided to add in some of my own little ideas - mainly the occasional counter-melody, which I always like in my own works.
If you just want to enjoy the original version, that’s fine - just ignore any of the small notation, or ossia bars. Otherwise you can add in my extra bits!
You should find that the score does NOT) playback! This is because I used the Sibelius 6 plug-in which re-formats a piano duet score, originally produced with the primo and secondo running parallel, into the more usual piano duet layout, with the two players on adjacent pages. Unfortunately this will not play back correctly (perhaps something for Sibelius 7?)
In order to hear the piece, I have added an MP3 file, which should give you a good enough idea!
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