Finding new pieces to learn

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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JSG
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Finding new pieces to learn

Post by JSG » 10 Jan 2007, 20:52

Hi to everyone here!

I've been playing the piano for around 10 years (in a relatively unserious manner), but ever since seeing a live concert by a guy called Chris Contillo, I have realised how much I would like to play more classical music, although not professionally. I started practicing Claire de Lune about 4 months ago, but now I have nearly got it sorted (of course I will keep practicing).
I enjoyed practicing it immensely, and I would like to find other pieces to play. Could anyone tell me of pieces similar in skill to Claire de Lune (I've been told about grade 8 ) that sound nice as well?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I was thinking that perhaps Liebestraum No. 3 by Liszt might be good, but is this much harder than Claire de Lune?

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Post by Gill the Piano » 10 Jan 2007, 22:46

Why don't you have a lesson with a teacher who could gauge your level and suggest something suitable to your level? Most teachers would give one-off lessons, and perhaps you could have a lesson every few weeks to keep you on the straight and narrow.
What sort of music do you like? If you like Debussy, then it's quite hard to suggest something similar because there's not really anything like it! The Grieg Notturno is nice...but without knowing your level and/or taste in music it's difficult to make suggestions. That's why lessons might be A Good Thing! Listen to Classic FM to get an idea of what you like...and Naxos CDs are a cheap way of finding out if you like a certain composer, or sometimes you can hear bits on Amazon. (Probably it's ALWAYS possible, but I can only make it work occasionally!)

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Post by Mark Heller » 10 Sep 2008, 14:54

I would have said Clair de Lune is around Grade VII standard - Lizst's Liebestraume No.3 is MUCH harder, and possibly too much of a jump at the moment?

In a similar vein, the 2 Debussy Arabesques are lovely, and not too difficult, and you could also look at Mendelssohn's Spring Song, Beethoven's Rondo in C, Schumann's Kinderscenen (esp. No.1 and Traumerei), and the Brahms Intermezzo Op.118 No.2 (?) in A, which is beautiful and very poignant.

I also play quite a few 'fun' piano solo transcriptions of orchestral pieces, which are lovely, and very playable:

- Elgar's Chanson de Matin and Salut D'Amour
- Bach's Jesu Joy of Man's Desire and Wachet Auf
- Faure's Pavane (very beautiful)

(Some of these you can download from free sheet music archives on the Net.)

Hope you have lots of fun discovering - and playing - these pieces!

Mark
Last edited by Mark Heller on 01 Oct 2008, 09:32, edited 1 time in total.

joseph
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Post by joseph » 10 Sep 2008, 16:59

Mark, you have a great taste in music!

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Post by Mark Heller » 11 Sep 2008, 11:41

Thanks Joseph :)

Any other interesting pieces you'd suggest worth looking at?

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Post by joseph » 11 Sep 2008, 16:07

I'm planning on looking at some suites by edward macdowell. We only seem to know To A Wild Rose, and yet he wrote so much more. His other music is a bit like Grieg crossed with Mendelssohn.

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Post by joseph » 11 Sep 2008, 16:08

I'm planning on looking at some suites by edward macdowell. We only seem to know To A Wild Rose, and yet he wrote so much more. His other music is a bit like Grieg crossed with Mendelssohn.

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Post by Gill the Piano » 11 Sep 2008, 18:17

York Bowen was a similar era and you never hear his pieces. Some of them were really nice. Probably out of print now though...

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Post by Geelan » 11 Sep 2008, 20:07

Anyone know of a single volume collection of classical piano music available in which the music has been chosen to cater for Grades 1-8?
I find that so much of what is available for beginners consist only of excerpts. Incomplete pieces are not a great incentive, at least for me as an adult, to become enthusiastic about mastering.
I imagine the earlier grades would probably be less catered for in terms of complete pieces - too simplistic to stand the test of time.
Though, having said that, I think of Greensleeves, a beautiful, yet simple, melody and one with which I've had great fun because of the dozens of variations I can introduce.

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Post by Celestite » 11 Sep 2008, 20:47

Hi Geelan
Good old ABRSM have published a series of books called "The Keyboard Anthology" which are pretty much as the title suggests. It's a series of graded books of piano music, each containing pieces from the Baroque Period through to 20th century music. They're reasonably affordable and would give you a good introduction to all sorts of music. If you wander down to your local music shop you would be able to browse through them and decide which volume best suits your ability.
If you visit the ABRSM website and look at their publications section, they actually do quite a wide range of compilations. I'm beginning to sound like an advert for them but they do offer good, clear editions at fairly reasonable prices if you're looking to build up a collection without having to spend a fortune.

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Post by joseph » 11 Sep 2008, 22:48

i think York Bowen stuff is still in print for the most part, B and H publish it if i'm not mistaken (not B and H the fag makers - oh and for the americans, a fag is a cigarette in the UK)

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Post by markymark » 11 Sep 2008, 22:54

For fear of offending other readers, we couldn't really talk about the American word for "bottom" either. I got the shock of my life a couple of years a go in California when I saw a sign advertising bun-bags in Walmart! :D

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Post by markymark » 11 Sep 2008, 23:07

No, Dave... I meant to type "bum bags" and not "bun-bags". Does that help explain things a bit?

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Post by markymark » 11 Sep 2008, 23:17

Well that's true as well but check your PM for more info!

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Post by Geelan » 12 Sep 2008, 10:08

Celestite - Thanks for the ABRSM reference. Pity they wouldn't put all fifteen into one decent spiral bound volume - it would make a nice resource! Yes - I'll get to my nearest musicshop as soon as possible.

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Post by Moonlight » 12 Sep 2008, 12:31

markymark wrote:For fear of offending other readers, we couldn't really talk about the American word for "bottom" either. I got the shock of my life a couple of years a go in California when I saw a sign advertising bun-bags in Walmart! :D
HA HA HA I know what you mean! :lol: :lol: :lol: I was quite surprised too when I heard what they called them! :lol:

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Post by markymark » 12 Sep 2008, 22:08

Well it was a massive sign in the menswear section and to be honest, I couldn't have been more alarmed! :lol: Why would a man or woman need those? I was almost embarrassed to go to the stall but I'm glad I did otherwise I could have been in for a big misunderstanding! :lol: :lol:

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Post by cothse » 30 Sep 2008, 14:34

Claire de lune feels like 6 or 7. It isn't near the difficulty of Liebestraum. Brahms' Intermezzo No. 2 is a bit easier, but a wonderful piece nonetheless, and there is still much you can learn from it. If you enjoy Clair de lune, I'm sure you'll have a good time with it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIkDx9o1 ... re=related

I'm currently learning Tristesse by Chopin, and I feel it is near the same skill level as well; not only is it couplet hell, but the staccatos make it surprisingly more challenging than it sounds, although it would be easier if I simply had larger hands. Incidentally, the grace notes remind me of the Waltz 64 #2, which you might like to try as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNAyKL2GHvA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lTc74u-5z0
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Post by S.Mitchell » 04 Jan 2009, 00:43

I would recommend something like the Liszt consolations. They're a bit tricky, but extremely pianistic to play (they fall under the hands very well) and sublimely musical.

You could also take a look at some of the Seasons by Tchaikovsky, some of which may be above your level, but others will be a perfect fit. Most of them are very beautiful.

A Chopin waltz or mazurka might go well too.
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Post by Moonlight » 05 Jan 2009, 14:33

Geelan wrote:Anyone know of a single volume collection of classical piano music available in which the music has been chosen to cater for Grades 1-8?
I find that so much of what is available for beginners consist only of excerpts. Incomplete pieces are not a great incentive, at least for me as an adult, to become enthusiastic about mastering.
Try Schirmer Performance Editions they are books consisting of a selection of short pieces by a composer, that have not; as far as I know been watered down in any way. I have two of these books, one called: J.S Bach, Selections from the notebook of Anna Magdelena Bach and a Beethoven one called: Beethoven selected piano works. They come with a cd, so you can hear the piece for reference, or its just nice to listen too! And they also have very useful notes on the piece on interpretation and technique.

The Bach one is in my opinion aimed at more adavanced beginners to fairly less experienced players, grades 1-2 ( ? ). Its has useful notes on how to execute the ornamentation in the pieces. It consists of dances.

The Beethoven book has a seletion of short dance pieces, such as German dances and ecossaises and some of the easier bagatelles . I think it a great introduction into Beethoven's less known works, and it will give the beginner a feel for his other stuff. I think this is aimed at advanced beginners to early intermediate. There is also a lovely sonatina in the book that has two movements. The price is roughly 6 quid something. :)

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Re: Finding new pieces to learn

Post by Moonlight » 23 Feb 2009, 16:42

dam...and heres me thinking there was an intresting reply to this topic! No offence designer handbag poster, but I think most of us on here would be far more Interested in buying a 'designer' piano then any designer handbags. Gosh for the money a bag costs I could get myself a gorgeous shiney new Yamaha R3 or possibily a cheap grand? Next time try posting designer pianos, Bosendofer anyone? 8) at least we would show some interest.

now wheres that Notify InappropriateTopic button? :twisted:

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Re: Finding new pieces to learn

Post by Moonlight » 24 Feb 2009, 15:28

dave brum wrote:...oh well at least we haven't had any adverts for pianist enlargement as yet :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Or even anything involving organs! Though I think I may need some pianist enlargement in order to play one of those designer Bosendorfers or a Yamaha concert grand!!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :shock:

Dave you are so funny! Yeah it would of been better if it was like spam mail aimed at pianists.

Do you want longer, stronger............fingers?

or

Increase your stretch! - with the new safer Finger Stretch O Matic! as famously used and designed by Robert Schuman! Finger Stretch O Matic will increase the stretch of your hand and at the same time strengthen your fingers!
Finger Stretch O Matic cannot be held responsible for any hand injuries. Excessive use may lead to tendonitis, please consult your doctor before use.

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Re: Finding new pieces to learn

Post by Murssi » 09 Aug 2009, 10:35

I love "Pavane pour une infante defunte" by Maurice Ravel, beautiful piece.

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Re: Finding new pieces to learn

Post by simplesimon » 13 Aug 2009, 22:26

Clare de lune is a beautiful piece.
As for finding pieces other pieces, are you after a similar style or for a similar standard, My immediate thought are to go for Schubert's Moments Musiceaux, Schumann's Waldscenen or Beethoven Rondos and Bagatelles. :wink:
If you want to go for a bit of a challenge then there are Schubert's Impromptus and Sonatas, a couple of the pieces in Liszt's Annees de Pelerinage (Premiere Annee - Suisse). I'm a bit of a fan of Chopin's Ballades and Berceuse but his Nocturnes are worth their weight in gold.
You could always go for Haydn's Sonatas. :o
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