Classical piano recommendations?

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timonan
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Classical piano recommendations?

Postby timonan » Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:08 am UTC

Like some of you may have done, I took a bunch of years of piano as a kid, and now I'm trying to get back into it. I used to hate the classical music they made me learn, but, just like my mom promised, I appreciate it more now.

I'm trying to learn some new pieces, which includes the obvious ones (Moonlight Sonata, Clair de Lune, etc) and some less than obvious ones (Fantastie Impromptu, Liebestraum). I can still read music, but it's a bit shaky, so my technique is to memorize parts of a piece, put all the parts together, and try to make the whole thing sound halfway decent.

Anyway, I'd love to get some recommendations for some great classical pieces to learn on piano - something interesting and beautiful, but not impossible to play for an amateur pianist like myself (which I assume many of us are). I know there's volumes of pieces out there, so it would be nice to narrow it down a bit.
Last edited by timonan on Sat Oct 10, 2009 10:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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ChocloManx
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Re: Classical piano

Postby ChocloManx » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:40 pm UTC

dude, the fantasie impromptu, libestraume and claire de lune are really tough if your reading is shaky and you haven't played in a while (well, they are tough mothers even if you have, particulary the first two). I know it sucks but you should try something easier first. I recommend getting Schumann's Album für die Jugend, playing maybe Bach Preludes, etc.
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Re: Classical piano

Postby dabigkid » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:05 pm UTC

I would disagree with Choclo on Claire de Lune if you're very familiar with it. The rhythm is tough but if you know well how the piece is supposed to sound, then Claire de Lune isn't that hard to read.

But I do recommend doing easier stuff so you get back into the swing of things. I would play mostly Hanon exercises for a week or two before trying to seriously tackle anything.

You say you're "amateur"; How "amateur" are we talking? How long has it been since you last played, and what did you used to be able to play? Too many times I talk to people who say they used to play piano "as a child," and that often amounts to being able to play Heart and Soul. I'm not trying to say that you're terrible or anything, I'm just trying to say that the term is really vague :P
wut

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timonan
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Re: Classical piano

Postby timonan » Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:03 pm UTC

You're right, the amateur reference is very vague. I've actually learned the songs I mentioned above (still working on Liebestraum), though they all took a long time to piece together. If I sit down and try to sight read something cold, I play it very slow. But I'm good with rhythm and fingering, so once I memorize the piece, I can play it fairly well. Fantasie is a good example. Once I got the 3-4 rhythm down and the fingering on the long runs, I could play it through fairly well (still shaky at parts though). I took 8-9 years of lessons as a kid, so I learned quite a bit, but I've been away from sight-reading classical for quite a while.

Hope that helps. I bought a book with Chopin's Preludes and Nocturnes, and I'm trying some of those. I love Prelude #15 (the "Raindrop" Prelude) and Nocturne #11 in G Minor. I think that's the key for me...all the songs I've listed, there was something beautiful and intriguing about the song which made me want to learn it. I know that can be a subjective judgement, but it might be a good place to start for recommendations, since there's a whole world out there I haven't heard.

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Smiling Hobo
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Re: Classical piano

Postby Smiling Hobo » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:09 pm UTC

Check out some other Debussy stuff, specifically the Children's Corner Suite. Most of the songs in the suite are pretty advanced, but the first song (Doctor Gradus ad Parnasum) isn't too bad if you're at a high-ish intermediate level. And if you enjoy the music of Debussy, look into Ravel's stuff--the two are very similar.

Also, third movement of moonlight sonata...and second movement of the "pathetique sonata". Bach's two-part inventions are fun, nifty little intermediate pieces--if you find those easy, perhaps move on to some of the preludes from Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd also suggest checking out some of Chopin's easier preludes (No. 4, 6, 15, 20).

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Phill
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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby Phill » Mon Oct 12, 2009 8:00 am UTC

You might be interested to have a look at this guy's stuff: http://cubus-adsl.dk/musical_pieces/ - classical piano pieces uploaded to YouTube.

Most of them are in the intermediate-advanced level. It might give you a few ideas.

Mozart's Sonata in C (no. 16, K545) is well-known and not too difficult. It's also a good finger workout :)

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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby Narius » Fri Oct 16, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

I would recommend Mozart's Piano Sonata in C K. 545, you've surely heard at least the first movement. Then again, I'm not sure how advanced you are. If that sort of thing is not much of a challenge, then I would highly recommend Beethoven's piano Sonatas, any of them. You mentioned Moonlight Sonata (if you're only referring to the adagio, the other 2 movement are also excellent); along with that I would recommend his 8th Sonata in C Minor (pathetique sonata) and the 23rd sonata in f minor (appasionata sp*).

Disclaimer-I'm probably more of a piano amatuer than you, so don't think I'm some big expert. But I love those pieces.
and now that I think of it, Chopin's prelude are amazing too. Some of them deathly hard. But some aren't terribly difficult and well worth learning.

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Re: Classical piano

Postby robby hobby » Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:00 am UTC

Smiling Hobo wrote:Also, third movement of moonlight sonata...and second movement of the "pathetique sonata". Bach's two-part inventions are fun, nifty little intermediate pieces--if you find those easy, perhaps move on to some of the preludes from Well-Tempered Clavier. I'd also suggest checking out some of Chopin's easier preludes (No. 4, 6, 15, 20).


hobo i like your style

i just discovered the first movement of beethoven's 15th piano sonata. ooh so happy..

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timonan
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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby timonan » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:56 am UTC

Thanks for the recommendations. They all sound perfect for me. I'm working through Pathetique right now....wonderful.

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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby sillybear25 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:20 am UTC

Though it's a fairly easy piece, people who are easily impressed tend to like Beethoven's Für Elise.

For something more challenging and contemporary, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue combines elements of classical and jazz music, though it's a concerto, so you won't exactly get the full effect without an accompaniment.
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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby iusername » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:38 pm UTC

i would recommend The girl with flaxen hair by Claude Debussy from the Preludes to start with. It is a lovely piece, and i believe should not be difficult in terms of technique. So meditate yourself as you play along.
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Smiling Hobo
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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby Smiling Hobo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:30 am UTC

iusername wrote:i would recommend The girl with flaxen hair by Claude Debussy from the Preludes to start with. It is a lovely piece, and i believe should not be difficult in terms of technique. So meditate yourself as you play along.
Is that number 8 from book 1? That's a very good piece--I second this recommendation.

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Re: Classical piano recommendations?

Postby Minnie_Mouse » Mon Nov 09, 2009 1:56 am UTC

Besaid Island Piano Collections

it's one of my favorites.


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