Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Simon Wright

Ballet in black and white: the ‘piano reduction’

For ballet rehearsals in theatres around the world the piano has long been the musical instrument of choice. To engage orchestras to do the detailed, volatile work required in routine rehearsals would be impractical and prohibitively costly, and only at the dress rehearsal will dancers and the orchestra finally come together. The music at all earlier rehearsals is provided through a specially written version of the score called a ‘piano reduction’.

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Harriet Cohen: alluring woman, great pianist devoted to Bach

Harriet Cohen (1895-1967) was one of the leading British pianists of her age, but her unusually small hands (“I cannot normally cover more than eight notes with each hand”) led her naturally to specialize in intimate classical and pre-classical works, rather than in any thundering octaves of nineteenth-century piano music.

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