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What pieces should I start with?

Discussion in 'Repertoire' started by pianolady, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Andi,

    It would be easier for us to offer suggestions if you can tell us what kind of classical music you enjoy best. A good place to start is by breaking it into time periods such as Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century/Contemporary. From there I'm sure we can give you lots of ideas on pieces for you to try.

    One more thing -What is the hardest piece you've played?
     
  2. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    I think the pedagoges will suggest Bach, Bach, Bach, and more Bach.
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Uh oh.... :wink:


    But anyway, yes - this forum is fine for this topic. Since you like Chopin, have you tried some of his preludes? Many of them are short but packed full of dynamics and not too difficult. Just flipping through my book, I think nos. 1, 4, 6, 9, 13, 20, and 21 are relatively easy and have sweeping dynamics. Just follow the markings in the music. If you are not sure if you are in fact applying dynamics in your own playing, maybe you can record yourself and then listen back, although you need a decent recorder/mics.
     
  4. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    Bach, start with the inventions. I <3 Chopin and all but Bach makes for a nice healthy repertoire diet. Remember that Chopin liked to hole himself up with Bach's WTC before playing, even if he wasn't performing any Bach. :lol: It's thearpy for the musical soul...
     
  5. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Don't neglect Bach's minor minuets and "work books" for his children. I think they are not as hard as the WTC or the Inventions. And Bach, I affirm, is the foundation which all composers can be based off of. Not in terms of musicality, but technically. Start with the grand-daddy of them all and all else will come naturally.

    But what am I talking about? I can't play Bach worth a bucket of.

    _julius
     
  6. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    *lecture warning*

    *big loud buzzer going NNNNNNNNNNHHHHHHHH!*

    I think a lot of pianists tend to judge Bach by the fact that he didn't write for the emotive or percussive capability of the piano, and he didn't write for pedals or that level of resonance. That doesn't mean that his music can't be even more enjoyable on piano than it is on harpsichord; it just means that Bach didn't write for piano, and the art of pianism didn't really mature until the first half of the 19th century, thanks to better pianos and Chopin, etc. Beethoven habitually destroyed the pianos he wrote for, and the development of better instruments practically coincided with Beethoven's death (much like the earliest pianos were developed at the tag end of Bach's life).

    But don't make the mistake of thinking that because Bach's keyboard music isn't pianistic, that Bach is not the foundation which all composers can be based off of, in terms of musicality (whatever that means, exactly...I have a feeling it's close enough). The concept of functional harmony, tonality, began to form in the Renaissance, and there were some composers of that age that were definitely talented, perhaps culminating with Palestrina. But Bach is nothing if not the foundation of functional harmony as we know it, in all its simplicity, and also with as much complexity as any composer since, probably up until bebop jazz. Bach never wrote a theory treatise, but he's inspired thousands, more than any other composer by far. Behind any great composer since his time, you usually don't have to look hard to find a reverence for JS Bach above all others. Bach was old-fashioned for his time, but even before Mendelssohn revived the St. Matthew Passion (and revived a popular interest in Bach), the elite, composers like Mozart and Beethoven, knew of JS Bach and revered him above all other composers.

    That too. Bach is good for technique in the sense that his music will teach you independence of your fingers. He'll teach you how to be gracefully melodic without depending on the damper pedal. If you have problems with trills, then play around with Bach's ornaments - there are a bunch of different kinds, and he's not scared to put them in the left hand, even when the left hand also has another voice. If you can do those gracefully, then romantic trills should be no problem. I could go on. Obviously pianistic composers are important for developing piano technique, but pianistic composers <3 Bach.
     
  7. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Yep :!: And since we're (hopefully) not talking keyboard-only here, don't forget that Bach wrote some of the most searingly beautiful and affecting melodies of all times. Think of the Air on the G string, the arias 'Ich habe genug', 'Mache dich mein Herze rein', and many more examples could be given. Also in terms of sheer spontaneous melodic invention, Bach towers above all others.
     
  8. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    ....I wish I knew more music jargon to get my point across. :oops: I did not intend to discredit Bach's music for lacking emotion or beauty. His compositions are filled with it.

    I guess what I meant to say, is that if you want to work on technique, then Bach is the way to go because much of the music addresses it. And, as you said Terez, Chopin used Bach. Therefore Bach is the foundation.


    bah-humbug I'm too frustrated to write anything more.
     
  9. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    hehe, I figured you didn't think much about that when you wrote it. Just figured I'd set the record straight. :lol:
     
  10. juufa72

    juufa72 New Member Piano Society Artist

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    *big loud buzzer going NNNNNNNNNNHHHHHHHH!*


    WRONG! :lol:

    I actually put forth a lot of effort to communicate that Bach is the best to start with. You didn't set any record straight, hell I didn't even read what you wrote. Judging by the length of the post, I knew it was a bashing. So I had to clarify what I had originally wrote in better, standardized English. :roll:
     

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