It never occurred to me that it would bring images of tea parties and the such.
Maybe it's just my imagination. But I'm pretty sure that in the 19th century, 4-hand playing was quite the In Thing on the salons. But I've no factual backup for that, to be honest.
I have a hunch (without having any musicological backup here) that the initial idea of the quatre mains works was transcribed symphonies and the such.
Yes, that's another, and very important aspect of it. For example Smetana created a 4-hand version of Ma Vlast,
one movement of which I'm working on to record together with another PS member next month. While playing 4-hand is great fun, I do find the practicing of one's own part extremely tedious, especially in orchestral music with its many unpianistic textures like extended tremolos.
I've no idea if the above is correct, but it will be a challenge to treat the material I have in a right way!
I think I'll go ahead with that for as long as the muses are kind with me! Then I'll carry on working the hard way!
Go for it ! May the Muses be with you