Grainger: Complete Music for Four Hands, Two Pianos (4CD)

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Penelope Thwaites, John Lavender, Timothy Young

Label: Heritage

The music of Percy Grainger (1882–1961) for piano/s four hands ranges from a few intimate duets to a significant body of quasi-orchestral concert works. The great majority were written for two instruments and they exploit this rich resource to the full. Given that almost all were originally works for chamber, orchestral, wind-band or choral forces, pianists have the widest possible range of sound references.

Leading Grainger scholar and performer, Penelope Thwaites, has newly recorded a fourth CD with fellow Australian pianist, Timothy Young, to add to the three existing CDs of Grainger’s music she recorded with John Lavender for the Pearl label in the 1990s. All four CDs contain many world premieres and provide a fascinating insight into Grainger’s pianistic output.

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“The music’s contrapuntal tapestries radiate with extra clarity, helped by Thwaites and Lavender’s rhythmic vim and the recording’s acoustic spread, with each piano clearly delineated. Grainger might not be a ‘great’ composer, but I can’t think of another who so quickly and quirkily enhances life.”


"The three pianists play the pants off the music. These excellent recordings were made in London in 1989 and 1991 and the fourth in Melbourne this year. Of particular note are the number of items recorded here for the first time in these arrangements."

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In a Nutshell
I. Arrival Platform Humlet
II. Gay but Wistful
III. Pastoral
IV. 'The Gum-Suckers' March

Spoon River

When the World was Young

Molly on the Shore

Hill-Song II

Country Gardens

Mowgli's Song Against People

Eastern Intermezzo

English Waltz

The Wraith of Odin

Always Merry and Bright

Duke of Marlborough's Fanfare

Lincolnshire Posy
I. Lisbon
II. Horkstow Grange
III. Rufford Park Poachers
IV. The Brisk Young Soldier
V. Lord Melbourne
VI. The Lost Lady

Children's March 'Over the Hills and Far Away'

Shepherd's Hey

Hill-Song I

Handel in the Strand

Harvest Hymn

The Widow's Party

The Lonely Desert-Man Sees the Tents of the Happy Tribes

The Rival Brothers

The Warriors II

Two Musical Relics of my Mother

Let's Dance Gay in Green Meadow

Blithe Bells

Pritteling, Pratteling Pretty Poll Parrot

Cyril Scott: 3 Symphonic Dances for 2 Pianos, Op. 22 (Arr. Grainger)
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante sostenuto e sempre molto cantabile
III. Allegro energico

Youthful Tone-Works
I. Rondo
II. The Crew of the Long Dragon

Frederick Delius: A Dance Rhapsody No.1 for 2 Pianos (Arr. Grainger)

Edvard Grieg: Norwegian Peasant Dances, Op. 72: No. 11, Knut Lurasen’s Halling II (Arr. Grainger)

Richard Addinsell: Festival (Arr. Grainger)

Claude le Jeune: Airs à III, IV, V et VI parties: No. 2, La Bel’ Aronde (Arr. Grainger) I

Early One Morning

Ye Banks and Braes

Tiger, Tiger

Walking Tune

Claude le Jeune: Airs à III, IV, V et VI parties: No. 2, La Bel’ Aronde (Arr. Grainger) II

George Gershwin: Embraceable You for Piano Solo (Arr. Grainger)

George Gershwin: Fantasy on Themes from Porgy and Bess (Arr. Grainger)

Balfour Gardiner: English Dance (Arr. Grainger)

Konzertstuck 1896

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina: Mori quasi il mio core (Arr. Grainger)

William Lawes: Six Part Fantasy and Air (Arr. Grainger)

The Maiden and the Frog

Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in C Major, BWV 846 (Arr. Grainger)

Johann Sebastian Bach: Fugue in D-Sharp Minor, BWV 877 (Arr. Grainger)

Walking Tune

Richard Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto for 2 Pianos Four Hands (Arr. Grainger)