Eight hands performing on one piano is chaotic and wonderfully skillful

5 August 2016, 12:49 | Updated: 11 January 2017, 13:37

By Tim Edwards

May we introduce you to ‘Galop-Marche for eight hands'? The perfect party piece for the kind of party where there’s a piano and four accomplished pianists hanging around

In the video below you can appreciate how the performance requires amazing coordination, patience, humour – and generosity in page-turning duties. In fact, the four pianists here are so comfortable with each other, that two of them start playing pat-a-cake half-way through. 

‘Galop-Marche à huit mains sur un seul piano’ was composed by Albert Lavignac, a nineteenth century French music scholar and teacher who counted Claude Debussy among his pupils.

As well as this wonderful, jaunty piece, Lavignac’s achievements include categorising all the major and minor keys by what he saw as their characteristics (C# minor = brutal, sinister). 

By the way, Galop-Marche is in D major (joyful, brilliant, alert)… 

Galop-Marche for eight hands and one piano