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Thread: Top 100 Solo Piano Works

  1. #46
    Senior Member Allegro Con Brio's Avatar
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    I see nothing wrong with the list. Like all rankings of great music, it is bound, of course, to contain a subjective element. The only thing I would change in the top 20 is to swap the Liszt B minor for Schubert D960 (which I love but I always think is rated just a tad too highly). Of course there is lots of other great solo piano music, but I think the list nailed all the big hitters. However, I do take major issue with Ives’s “Concord”, Albeniz’s Iberia, and Messiaen’s Vingt Regards being ranked so far down the list. These are among the jewels of the entire piano literature and if they were more common concert staples I can’t help but think they would be higher.
    "If we understood the world, we would realize that there is a logic of harmony underlying its manifold apparent dissonances." - Jean Sibelius

    "Art is an attempt to transport into a limited quantity of matter, modeled by man, an image of the infinite beauty of the entire universe." - Simone Weil

    "Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." - Johann Sebastian Bach

  2. #47
    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    I think it's best to take what the fervent Schubert enthusiasts here say with a grain of salt. Partita also claimed that Schubert's 6th mass is as masterful as Bach's B minor and Mozart's K.427, and also did various other things. He quitted TC a long time ago. And of course we know Beebert always creates threads and rankings to show Schubert's piano works are better than anyone else's.
    Regarding Mozart, I think his piano concertos tend to get too much love (compared to Beethoven's, for example), while his keyboard works get too neglected. I don't see why K.394, K.397, K.475, K.511, K.533, K.540 should be neglected so much. From a historical perspective, K.511 is just as significant as any of Beethoven's, Schubert's, Chopin's. K.497 is not a solo piano work, (listen to the outer movements) but not any lesser in terms of scale compared to the later composers' piano sonatas.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Attachment 148131
    "Written between May and June 1785, Mozart C minor Fantasy KV 475 is a perfect illustration example of what Brahms had in mind when proclaiming Mozart as “a fellow modernist.” ...
    ... Yes, the missing tonality was in fact C minor; “atonality” is of course not justified, but it was certainly hinted…Adorno’s « hegemony of tonality» remains and Mozart’s acquisitions anticipate those of Wagner, transforming musical language « only indirectly, by means of the amplification of the tonal space and not through its abolition»""


    What is it about Mozart? A Confessional Thread-wagner-png
    < The Aesthetic State: A Quest in Modern German Thought, by Josef Chytry, P. 291 >

    Also look at the ways to reach climax (before falling with arpeggios to the reprise of the initial material) in both Wagner and Mozart (sonata K.533), with a 7th chord built on F.
    Wagner uses a half-diminished 7th. Mozart uses a dominant 7th.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRu5f7BzdR4&t=5m5s ( 5:05 ~ 5:35 )
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QX7dgBqfgw&t=7m ( 7:00 ~ 7:30 )

    Harmonic Similarities in Wagner and Mozart-k511-png
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0CzPGo9ZFg&t=5m22s
    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post

    "There is something Tristanesque avant la lettre about the opening vertical sonority of the Adagio; and in fact, three of its four notes (E-sharp, B, G-sharp) are enharmonically identical to the so-called Tristan chord, even in their register. As in Tristan und Isolde, the dissonance of this initial descends here rather than rising, as in Wagner's opera. The composer of Tristan greatly admired Mozart, particularly his works in the minor, and regarded him as "der große Chromatiker"— a quality that undoubtedly inspired Wagner." (Mozart's Piano Music, By William Kinderman, Page 35)
    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74UCnAR1K_E
    "When Vladimir Nápravník was the composer's guest at Maydanovo in February 1892 Tchaikovsky would often ask him in the evenings to sit at the piano and play on his own (instead of playing piano duets): "Pyotr Ilyich 'worshipped' Mozart and once, while listening to the Andante from his piano fantasia No. 4, he said that out of this work one could make a splendid vocal quartet". Tchaikovsky eventually realised this idea the following year, adapting that section of the Fantasie et sonate in C minor, KV 475, into a quartet for singers which he entitled Night, and for which he wrote the verses himself. Tchaikovsky attended the first performance of his quartet at the Moscow Conservatory on 9/21 October 1893. Also present on this occasion was his friend Nikolay Kashkin, who would write in his obituary of Tchaikovsky barely a month later: "There at the Conservatory he also said to me that the beauty of that melody by Mozart was a mystery for him, and that he himself could not explain the irresistible charm of the simple melody of that quartet."

    "He often reminisced about his childhood impressions when Mozart was played at Wahnfried. He had discovered the C minor Fantasy at his Uncle Adolf's house and had dreamt about it for ages afterwards." < Wagner: A Biography, By Curt von Westernhagen, P. 82 >
    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Feb-07-2021 at 18:43.

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  4. #48
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    Interesting that Faure's Nocturnes are nowhere to be seen in the Top 100, but No.56 in the Top 200.
    Last edited by Coed Bach; Jun-29-2021 at 12:14.

  5. #49
    Senior Member lextune's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beebert View Post
    So, I found this list with a ranking of the 100 "greatest" works for piano ever written. What do you guys think of it?


    1. Bach - Goldberg Variations
    I think they should have called it "100 greatest works for keyboard instrument" if they were going to have Bach on the list.

    Bach did not have the sonority of a piano in mind when he wrote 'Goldberg', or anything else for that matter. He was not a fan of the very early models of pianos he got to try.

  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beebert View Post
    So, I found this list with a ranking of the 100 "greatest" works for piano ever written. What do you guys think of it?

    1. Bach - Goldberg Variations
    2. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 111
    3. Bach - The Well-Tempererad Clavier
    4. Schubert - Piano Sonata D 960
    5. Chopin - 24 Preludes
    7. Chopin - Ballade 4 Op 52
    11. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 109
    12. Debussy - Préludes Book 2
    13. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 110
    14. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 57 "Appassionata"
    15. Chopin - Études Op 25
    16. Liszt - Piano Sonata B minor
    19. Chopin - Études Op 10
    20. Chopin - Barcarolle
    22. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 53 "Waldstein"
    24. Schubert Piano Sonata D 894
    25. Prokofiev - Piano Sonata 7 Op 83 "Stalingrad"
    26. Debussy - Preludes Book 1
    27. Ravel - Miroirs
    29. Chopin Piano Sonata 3 Op 58
    30. Shostakovich - 24 Preludes and Fugues
    31. Chopin - Polonaise Fantaisie
    33. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 27 No. 2 "Moonlight"
    34. Chopin - Ballade 1 Op 23
    35. Bach - Partita 2 BWV 826
    44. Bach - French Suite 5 BWV 816
    48. Schubert - Wanderer Fantasy D 760
    52. Chopin - Nocturnes Op 27
    53. Chopin - Piano Sonata 2 Op 35
    55. Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition
    67. Debussy - Estampes
    68. Schubert - Six Moments Musicaux D 780
    79. Beethoven - Piano Sonata Op 13 "Pathétique"
    81. Rachmaninoff - Preludes Op. 23
    83. Prokofiev - Piano Sonata 8 Op 84
    85. Ravel - Sonatine
    96. Mozart - Piano Sonata K. 331
    99. Chopin - Ballade 3 Op 47
    These for sure.

    I think Mozart K475+K457, however you package either or both, is a top 100 solo keyboard work. K570, K533 too?

    Visions fugitives, maybe?

    Needs Grieg somehow.

    A Scarlatti sonata maybe. Or five. K32, K380, K119. If each is about five minutes, and a Bach prelude and fugue is roughly the same, idk...there's some love that needs to be spread around. Some Scarlatti works are certainly on par or exceed some of Bach's good stuff. But when "WTC" is a monolith...boy, that skews the whole affair.

    Surprised the Prokofiev Toccata is not on the list.

    Brahms Op. 79 Rhapsodien is Brahm's best solo piano composition, glad he didn't light it on fire as his impulse dictated.

  7. #51
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    Good list of pieces, but maybe the list would be more representative of the breadth of piano music if we restricted it to one piece per composer? Also I think it's a bit inconsistent that Ligeti Etudes Books 1-3 are listed as one piece, whereas the two Books of Images by Debussy are listed separately.

    How about Oleg Eiges Sonata Toccata?



    Nikolai Kapustin may also deserve a place on this list:

    Last edited by chipia; Sep-07-2021 at 16:19.

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