Cat & Mouse Rag is a playful ragtime duet for primo players at about the Grade 3 standard. With classic ragtime syncopation in the primo part against a 'stride' style in the secondo, this duet is sure to be a popular addition to any recital programme.
To hear an audio clip, please click here.
For the introduction, the primo (perhaps the mouse?) starts things off with a bright opening statement that is answered by the secondo player (the cat?), and then the chase begins!
During the opening theme, the primo has an opportunity to tease the cat with a cheeky staccato 'interjection'. Just before this high note is an acciaccatura grace note, which should be played as quickly as possible beforehand.
The middle section then modulates to G minor for a variation on the theme, after which a rallentando culminates to a brief pause in the game. There is a break (a caesura) after the pause, so try to leave a good couple of seconds of suspense before launching back into the original theme a tempo.
Keep and eye out for staccato and tenuto notes, which will help to communicate the playful feel of the piece.
The duet ends with a call-and-response between the primo and secondo, then a crescendo to the ending hits - with a cheeky acciaccatura grace note from the mouse, of course :).