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Where's The Orchestra?

On this week's episode of the ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler explores orchestral works arranged for one piano four hands.

"It's amazing just how much orchestral, choral, chamber and operatic repertoire was made available in piano duet arrangements," says Jed. "Back in the mid-to-late 19th centuries and early 20th centuries, before recordings and radio, the piano was basically your home entertainment center. So you couldn't just plop on a Mahler Symphony CD, you had to slog through the piece yourself in a four-hand arrangement. Of course you didn't have to play all of the notes - how could you? - yet the point is that music making was active rather than passive."

However, to hear such arrangements in splendid virtuosic performances can be just as fun. Jed will present works by Bach, Smetana, Bruckner, Tchaikovsky, Saint-Saëns and Richard Strauss all deliciously served up by twenty fingers on one keyboard.

Tune in Tuesday night at 10, with a rebroadcast Wednesday at noon, exclusively on The Classical Network and WWFM.org

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Jed Distler is Artist-in-Residence for The Classical Network and program host of Between the Keys, Tuesdays at 10 pm.