The "Galoping Pianists"

an audio-visual comic Piano Duet
Op.95a 1994

David Hellewell

This work was inspired by and dedicated to the brilliant comic pianist Victor Borge. The “Galop” in the title refers to the general idiom of the piece ie. the 19th-century lively dance of which the French ‘’Can-Can’ is the best-known example. However, there are many diversions, interruptions, physical perambulations around the piano for the players - changing positions (’galloping’ around!) to the top and bottom of the piano, and ‘horse play’ - and musical interpolations of snatches of well-known tunes (eg. London Bridge, Chopsticks, Hungarian Rhapsody).
But there are also modern sections of ‘bi-tonality’ (the players playing in different keys - excruciating!), and a section where the speed and pitch increases and decreases, simulating an out-of-kilter tape recorder - all written into the music.
It’s great fun, but also a musical, (and physical) tour de force, demanding virtuoso musicianship and theatrical performance.

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