Published in 1849, Schumann’s six impromtus for piano four hands, Pictures from the East, were inspired by Friedrich Rückert’s translations of the Maqama, a collection of rhymed prose by the medieval Arab poet, Al-Hariri of Basra. Mozart’s bright Sonata in D major K 448 of 1781 for two pianos was written to perform with his pupil, Josepha Auernhammer. Chasing and overlapping scales feature strongly in its Allegro con spirito; then after a poetic central Andante comes a merrily racing rondo finale. Swirling scales evoke the waters of the Moldau river in Smetana’s piano four hands reworking of ‘Vlatava’, from his 1879 orchestral tone poem, ‘My Country’. The first book of Slavonic Dances by his compatriot Dvořák was written concurrently, in 1878. Originally for four hands, they were quickly orchestrated, and while they imitate traditional folk style, the melodies are Dvořák’s own.