View Poll Results: Best 20th century piano composition

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  • Scriabin: Sonata no. 5

    4 7.27%
  • Debussy: Préludes

    21 38.18%
  • Schoenberg: 3 piano pieces op. 11

    2 3.64%
  • Webern: Variations op. 27

    4 7.27%
  • Berg: Piano Sonata op. 1

    5 9.09%
  • Bartók: Out of Doors

    1 1.82%
  • Prokofiev: Piano Sonata no. 7

    10 18.18%
  • Messiaen: 20 Regards sur l'enfant Jésus

    7 12.73%
  • Boulez: Sonata no. 2

    1 1.82%
  • Ligeti: Musica ricercata

    0 0%
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Thread: Greatest piano work of the 20th Century

  1. #1
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    Default Greatest piano work of the 20th Century

    The 20th century may have been the least keyboardly century of music since the good old days of Palestrina, but that doen't mean there were no great works for solo piano made in the last century, so I decided to make this poll to discuss with our friends our favorite 20th century works made for the great instrument. I won't make any distinction on modern or contemporary, what matters is being composed from 1901 until 2000. I am limited to 10 pieces.

  2. #2
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Out of these options, the Debussy is the clear choice for me. It revolutionized piano technique for the new century, and it's great music to boot.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member andruini's Avatar
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    Where are the Rachmaninoff preludes??
    Life is a long lesson in humility.

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    Senior Member Air's Avatar
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    Wrong. These are the greatest:

    Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6
    Ravel Gaspard de la nuit
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2
    Medtner: Sonata minacciosa
    Albeniz: Iberia
    Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 10
    Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica
    Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues

    Well, I suppose it's time to stop making lists or at least add "out of this list." Very simple: 4 words.
    "Summit or death, either way, I win" ~R. Schumann

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  7. #5
    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    This smells of the Greatest English Composer poll somehow....
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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  9. #6
    Senior Member Sid James's Avatar
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    I think it's a useful list, as is araid2's, because people who are not that much into solo instrumental music can find it very useful. I have heard music by all of the composers mentioned, but not the specific works, only the Debussy & maybe the Scriabin (in full). I will have an opportunity to explore the rest in the future, I think. Obviously, with my limited knowledge of this repertoire, I didn't vote.

  10. #7
    Senior Member World Violist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapkaara View Post
    This smells of the Greatest English Composer poll somehow....
    Yes, I actually much agree. I was wondering much the same things as I was when I first looked at that older one... but oh well.
    You get a frog in your throat, you sound hoarse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andruini View Post
    Where are the Rachmaninoff preludes??
    I was left undecided between the Ligeti and Rach's preludes, in the end, I decided for Ligeti to add a more recent and modern composer.

    Quote Originally Posted by airad2 View Post
    Wrong. These are the greatest:

    Prokofiev Piano Sonata No. 6
    Ravel Gaspard de la nuit
    Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No. 2
    Medtner: Sonata minacciosa
    Albeniz: Iberia
    Scriabin: Piano Sonata No. 10
    Busoni: Fantasia contrappuntistica
    Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues

    Well, I suppose it's time to stop making lists or at least add "out of this list." Very simple: 4 words.
    That's a great least as well. But you have to concede that Schoenberg three pieces and Debussy's préludes are historically more important than Medtner or Albéniz. Gaspard de la nuit was also an early choice, but as I had already chosen the Debussy, I decided not put another impressionist. Some good other choices would be Sonata no. 7 or 9 of Scriabin, almost any other Prokofiev sonata, Bartók's sonata, Schönberg's piano suite, Ligeti's Études, Berio's Sequenza and two american works Ives's Concord sonata (er, a solo work?) and the Rudepoema of my countryman Villa Lobos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I think it's a useful list, as is araid2's, because people who are not that much into solo instrumental music can find it very useful. I have heard music by all of the composers mentioned, but not the specific works, only the Debussy & maybe the Scriabin (in full).
    That's the idea, not to choose the best, but to open up discussion, and nothing opens up discussion as good as a heavily biased poll.

  12. #9
    Senior Member Herzeleide's Avatar
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    Ravel - Gaspard de la nuit.

    Scriabin - pick a piano sonata 6-10.

    Boulez - Second Sonata.

    Messiaen - La fauvette des jardins.


    I have a soft spot for this piece by Giacinto Scelsi -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anLTdNEsU6U

    It sounds like Messiaen on steroids.

  13. #10
    Senior Member some guy's Avatar
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    This is what sorta spoiled it for me:
    Quote Originally Posted by bdelykleon View Post
    The 20th century may have been the least keyboardly century of music since the good old days of Palestrina
    Ives
    Cowell
    Cage
    Cardew
    Stockhausen
    Feldman
    FLUXUS
    Wolff
    Marchetti
    Bolleter

    I'd say one could make a case for the 20th century being even more "keyboardly" than the 19th, which was the century in which the piano was the most popular instrument, after all.

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  15. #11
    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    The Debussy for sure.

    Jim

  16. #12
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    I heard Schoenbergs Three pieces for the first time just the other day, and it was very refreshing. You get my vote, Arnold!

  17. #13
    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    Maybe the Debussy, but I would have included Ravel, Poulenc, and Shostakovish, and a whole lot of others before many of the choices given. I didn't vote.

    As to the keyboardly comment, I can't really agree. There have been fantastic works for keyboard since the 19th century and more variety of keyboards available and new ones invented. But the comment may be referring to the grammaphone and radio replacing the piano as a home entertainment center. I do understand that.

  18. #14
    Senior Member TresPicos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdelykleon View Post
    Gaspard de la nuit was also an early choice, but as I had already chosen the Debussy, I decided not put another impressionist.
    Hm, two impressionists was impossible, but Schoenberg and Webern and Berg had to be included?

  19. #15
    Senior Member rojo's Avatar
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    I'm confused by some of the responses; I thought this poll was for the best piano work of the twentieth century.

    How about Frederic Rzewski's Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues?

    Or the Debussy.
    omnia vincit amor - Virgil

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