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Man and Culture

Modern piano duet: a retrospective analysis of performing arts

Nerovnaia Tatiana Evgen'evna

PhD in Art History

Docent, the department of Piano, Nizhny Novgorod State Conservatory named after M. I. Glinka

603950, Russia, Nizhegorodskaya oblast', g. Nizhnii Novgorod, ul. Piskunova, 40




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The subject of this research is the evolution of the art of piano duets since the middle of the XX century to the present day. Leaning on the retrospective analysis of ensemble uniqueness, an attempt is made to determine the key trends in artistic activity of piano duets of that time. The goal of this work consists in the analysis of the types of professional duet ensembles and their peculiarities, substantiated by the mobile form of concerts; study of the relevant questions of renewal of the repertoire; classification of piano duets by “performing specialization”: educational and theatricalized or "eccentric"’ as well as outlining the development prospects of duet performing arts. Research methodology is based on the comparative, logical, and retrospective methods. The retrospective method allowed defining the criteria for ensemble specialization of piano duets in accordance with the duet or duo principle, as well as the variety of educational duets based on the repertoire preferences. The scientific novelty lies in the fact that retrospective analysis applicable to modern duet performance, on the one hand revealed a tendency towards preserving and augmenting best traditions in performing culture of the piano due, while on the other – towards seeking of new, creative in their idea forms of ensemble art. For the first time the source of the new repertoire, which includes original compositions for four-handed ensemble, is presented by annotated catalogue of the American scholar K. McGraw (revised 2016 edition). The conclusion is made that tremendous potential of the genre (the ability to multi-level dialogue, theatrical expressiveness of visual image of the ensemble, and its special telegenic skills) contributes to the successful development of piano duet in music industry. Expanding the boundaries of the traditional concert space, members of the ensemble appose to the aesthetics of show or performance, which testifies to the experimental nature of piano duets in the first decades of the XXI century. As the development prospects, the author outlines the pursuit of new ways for popularization of the genre, research work on broadening the existing duet repertoire, and as well as potential creation of the Internet platform for centralizing the global repertoire of piano ensembles.

Keywords: music catalog, competition, festival, concert activity, piano duet type, repertoire, performing role, popularization of the genre, piano ensemble, piano duet
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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