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Thread: What's Your Favorite Piano Music?

  1. #76
    Senior Member LordBlackudder's Avatar
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    Final Fantasy piano collections are my favourite.

    PiA-COM I and II also have good piano.

  2. #77
    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    I responded earlier in this thread, but I will go into more depth here.

    I love most kinds of classical music, but being a pianist solo piano music is my favourite. Classical and Baroque era 'piano' music I don't listen to often and, past small doses, I find tedious and boring. I love 20th century music to an extent, especially impressionism from Debussy and Ravel (and Liszt), and Prokofiev has his place too. But anything that gets too atonal and extremely...random I have never been able to get into.

    Romantic era piano music is the piano music I listen to by far the most. I consider Chopin, Schumann and Liszt the 'big three' of the Romantic era as far as piano music goes. I wouldn't objectively rate one above the other, and of course it saddens me that Liszt often gets the raw end there compared to the other two names. I also LOVE Beethoven and probably consider him the greatest piano composer ever, but I don't really consider him romantic or classical.

    As you all know, Liszt is my favourite piano composer. Where Chopin and Schubert have the most openly beautiful (and often extremely poignant) piano music , and Schumann has sheer romanticism, Liszt has it all. To me his piano music has a transcendental nature to it that the aforementioned composers can't match (except late Beethoven). His output is the most varied, from works anticipating impressionism, to first rate light hearted showpieces, to some of the most moving romantic statements, to some of the darkest, most profound piano music, he has it all (sometimes all in one piece!).

    I consider the very best piano music he wrote to be...

    Piano Sonata in B minor.
    Fantasy and Fugue on the chorale Ad nos, ad salutarem undam (Transc Busoni).
    Variations on a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen.
    Réminiscences de Norma.
    Années de pèlerinage.
    Harmonies poétiques et religieuses.
    Douze études d'exécution transcendante.
    Trois études de concert.
    Deux légendes.
    Two Ballades.

    And past that he wrote a seemingly endless amount of great piano music, that I simply love.

    While I love pretty much everything Debussy and Chopin wrote, late Beethoven and the 'named' sonatas, a great deal of Schumann, Prokofiev, Schubert, Brahms, and many more...No one moves me like Liszt does.
    Last edited by Lisztian; Mar-15-2012 at 23:12.
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  3. #78
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    I'm also a huge fan of (what I know of) Liszt !
    My feelings about the Sonata in b minor are the same as Stephen Hough's, from this interview :

    The Liszt Sonata is probably the greatest single piano work of the Romantic era – it is a symphony for the piano containing the world. It’s a piece of enormous emotional depth and a great, broad human spirit. I never fail to find it moving.
    There's so much audacity in this work. Incredible harmonies, unique form, beautiful themes - all derived from the same motive ! -, the wide spectrum of human emotions, contrapuntal writing (not so common at this period), literary qualities (Aimard - yes, I like him a lot - described the first theme as "Faustian". For me the whole sonata definitely recreate this world, this ambiance.).


    I hope I'll be able to play it someday - since I also plan on studying piano and organ. It's a monument, an incredibly deep work. I loved to see Aimard playing it in Besançon's festival of music last september.

    What I find amazing about Liszt - and what contradicts HUGELY all those people who say that Liszt was only able to write bombastic virtuoso salon music - is that he foreseen impressionism as well as atonality.
    For instance his Légende n°1 "La prédication aux oiseaux de St François d'Assises" is amazing (Aimard also played it when I saw him :3) and sounds impressionist. The same goes with his Jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este, and surely many other pieces.
    He was truly a radical avant-garde figure in his lifetime - I also read he was very supporting to new composers, for instance Fauré, Grieg I think, etc.
    He had guts.
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  4. #79
    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praeludium View Post
    I'm also a huge fan of (what I know of) Liszt !
    My feelings about the Sonata in b minor are the same as Stephen Hough's, from this interview :



    There's so much audacity in this work. Incredible harmonies, unique form, beautiful themes - all derived from the same motive ! -, the wide spectrum of human emotions, contrapuntal writing (not so common at this period), literary qualities (Aimard - yes, I like him a lot - described the first theme as "Faustian". For me the whole sonata definitely recreate this world, this ambiance.).


    I hope I'll be able to play it someday - since I also plan on studying piano and organ. It's a monument, an incredibly deep work. I loved to see Aimard playing it in Besançon's festival of music last september.

    What I find amazing about Liszt - and what contradicts HUGELY all those people who say that Liszt was only able to write bombastic virtuoso salon music - is that he foreseen impressionism as well as atonality.
    For instance his Légende n°1 "La prédication aux oiseaux de St François d'Assises" is amazing (Aimard also played it when I saw him :3) and sounds impressionist. The same goes with his Jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este, and surely many other pieces.
    He was truly a radical avant-garde figure in his lifetime - I also read he was very supporting to new composers, for instance Fauré, Grieg I think, etc.
    He had guts.
    Great post!

    And I really agree re the Sonata. It was one of the first pieces I saw live, and it truly was a life changing experience - never in concert have I had an equal one to that first time hearing the Sonata live. It is my favourite piano piece, bar none. However some authorities do consider Faustian influence to be a myth, it certainly is a possibility though! But I consider it to be his greatest work - the Faust Symphony is a monumental masterpiece, and the Christus Oratorio is to me one of the greatest works of the 19th century - but the Sonata is simply transcendental. I also had the oppurtunity of seeing Hough play it live last year - a night I won't soon forget!

    And you are right. His first Legende and Les jeux d'eaux are two of my favourites. What's even more amazing is that he was experimenting with impressionism as early as the 1830s, in the Album d'un Voyageur and also the first Apparition (not to the same level of mastery, but still). Some of his early works show remarkable originality - listen to his Malediction, and De Profundis - both written in the thirties, when Liszt was 22-23! And that originality continued throughout his life. Mark Andre Hamelin (who was the performer I first saw play the Sonata live) is quoted as saying that Liszt is perhaps THE most original composer who ever lived.

    He was a radical figure, for sure. Never content with the same forms, with conservative musical thought. He pushed the boundaries of music in many ways and even if the finished product isn't always satisfying or as good as where his innovations would lead in the late 19th and 20th century (although it sometimes is), there's no denying his influence.
    Last edited by Lisztian; Mar-18-2012 at 20:55.
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  5. #80
    Senior Member moody's Avatar
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    PRAELUDIUM.
    Have a look at the thread : Liszt Is the Most Underrated Composer on TC. You will find it interesting.

  6. #81
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Scriabin is my personal hero in piano music. I connect with some of his music so much that it seems to be made specifically for me as silly as that sounds. I was sold the moment I heard his Etude Op, 2 No. 1 played by Horowitz, which he composed when he was 15(!). I listen mostly to his early and mid years, but also like music from his late period.
    Then Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Schumann and others.

  7. #82
    Senior Member Vesteralen's Avatar
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    As I've explained before, I tend to hear music in two different ways - aurally and emotionally. Piano music I can appreciate aurally includes most of what I've heard of Chopin, Lizst, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Rubenstein, etc.

    Piano music I can appreciate emotionally includes most of what I've heard of Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven - with Schumann being far and away the leader.

    The difference is that my mind wanders easily when I'm listening to the first group - I can think of a lot of other things as the music becomes more and more background music to me. The second group holds my attention. With Schumann, in particular, my mind is totally engaged.

    I don't say any of this with pretensions of greater understanding of music than anyone else has. This is just a personal reaction. You can't argue it, because the impressions are personal and honest. People with more experience can explain why they think Chopin and Lizst are so great and I won't argue with it. That still doesn't change the fact that most of what I hear from them seems like "note-spinning" and I usually tune out.
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  8. #83
    Junior Member Pizzicato's Avatar
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    Brahms - Hungarian Dance No 5 in F# Minor and Gossec - Gavotte in D Major.

  9. #84
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    Bach Preludes BWV 935 and 933, Brahms Waltz in G# minor: What I am playing now.

    Late Brahms is something else, love it.

  10. #85
    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesteralen View Post
    As I've explained before, I tend to hear music in two different ways - aurally and emotionally. Piano music I can appreciate aurally includes most of what I've heard of Chopin, Lizst, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Rubenstein, etc.

    Piano music I can appreciate emotionally includes most of what I've heard of Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven - with Schumann being far and away the leader.

    The difference is that my mind wanders easily when I'm listening to the first group - I can think of a lot of other things as the music becomes more and more background music to me. The second group holds my attention. With Schumann, in particular, my mind is totally engaged.

    I don't say any of this with pretensions of greater understanding of music than anyone else has. This is just a personal reaction. You can't argue it, because the impressions are personal and honest. People with more experience can explain why they think Chopin and Lizst are so great and I won't argue with it. That still doesn't change the fact that most of what I hear from them seems like "note-spinning" and I usually tune out.
    Are you sure you have listened to a lot of piano music from the composers in the first group?

  11. #86
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    Default Chopin piano music

    I love Chopin - I think that the beauty and depth he weaves into relatively short pieces makes them truly inspiring. I'm trying to encourage more people to start listening to Chopin's piano music and have written an article with some suggested repertoire. Would love to know whether people agree with the pieces I've suggested...

    http://www.learnhowtoreadsheetmusic....n-piano-music/

    Thanks,

    Ben

  12. #87
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    Default Chopin and Ben D

    I agree with you about Chopin - a wonderful composer who in his writings for one instrument created a whole world of original feeling, formal variety and harmonic riches. The greatest composer for the solo piano of all, I believe, though he has to yield to others such as Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms etc (Bach too) in the concerto.

    Your choice of repertoire seems to have most things in it! Glad you have Ashkenazy who I think is fabulous. The Mazurkas are pretty irresistible too, especially perhaps for those who don't know Chopin well - I must say I much prefer them to the polonaises.

    Liked your 'Solace' - a nice piece of what I think of as soundtrack music (though it does repeat the motif too often for me). Who influenced you in this piece?

  13. #88
    Senior Member presto's Avatar
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    I’m more of a harpsichord man myself but I do like a bit of Clementi.

  14. #89
    Junior Member lilmoz's Avatar
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    beethoven sonatas,chopin waltz,bach goldberg varia,Haydn sonatas!

  15. #90
    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    I like the really dark pieces from the baroque era, and a few pieces from the classical era. But i like romantic and 20th century music the most.

    Schubert, grieg, mendelssohn, rachmaninov, debussy, ravel, chopin, bartok etc etc.

    must mention that grieg is always super fun to play!
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