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I. Andante grazioso

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DURATION: ca. 6 Min.

PUBLISHER:
Universal Edition
Belmont Music Publishers (USA, Canada, Mexico)

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Many of Schönberg’s earlier compositions were written for a specific purpose – for use in his choral conducting, for music publishers or simply for playing together with others. The latter may well include the “Six Pieces for Piano Four Hands,” dedicated to Bella Cohn, a woman in Schönberg’s circle of friends. The work was prompted by the Viennese music critic and composer Richard Heuberger who, after praising two of Schönberg’s Lieder, advised him to keep practicing by composing works for piano in the style of Schubert. Four-hand piano music was very widespread at the time; works by the great Classic composers, pieces for teaching purposes, and albums of arrangements of the popular music of the day were all available in that form – and Schönberg’s work from that time has many traces of the influence of those character pieces and dance movements; some of their technically simple yet musically original and intriguing aspects may well have appealed to the young composer’s audiences.