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Thread: Easy Classical Period piano pieces?

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Default Easy Classical Period piano pieces?

    I’m a beginner/intermediate pianist (been playing about 7 months) and I’m looking to expand my repertoire more into the classical era. Where would be a good place to start? Any good sonatinas/short sonatas, minuets, rondos, etc...? Bonus points if the music is actually good, too

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Hmmm...possibly Beethoven's Piano Sonatas 19 and 20. There could be something less difficult by Haydn I'm not aware of. A while back someone suggested Mozart's k545 as his least difficult sonata, I find it difficult.

    Some of Beethoven's Bagatelles might be worth looking into.

    Your best bet might be to pick up an intermediate level conservatory book and you'll likely find a number of less difficult pieces by classical composers in there.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    There are a number of easy classical works in this collection:

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Jul-17-2019 at 06:20.
    "That's all Folks!"

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    Although it's a bit later than the classical period, I'd suggest Robert Schumann's Album für die Jugend, Op. 68 (or "Album for the Young"), which Schumann composed for his three young daughters to play. The 43 solo piano works in the collection proceed in level of difficulty--from the simplest to the more complex, with the first 19 works suitable for children or beginners. After that, they are marked "Für Erwachsenere"--i.e., "For Adults".

    It's difficult to find first class recordings of Schumann's Op. 68, as the top pianists don't tend to play them because I expect they don't show off or challenge their hard earned virtuosity enough. However, musically, they're actually quite difficult to play well--such as Schumann's No. 35 "Mignon", which is my favorite shorter piece by him, and the interpretations vary widely.

    Vladimir Feltsman, "Mignon": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ_EuQNIp3c
    Reine Gianoli, "Mignon": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK6mgWQ3Qog

    Here's Paul Badura-Skoda playing the whole Op. 68 book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHnejgLHVvk

    and the legendary Carlo Zecchi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0oUBoe5qvo

    Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli played selected works from the Op. 68 collection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HQ1DbAMVRA and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6riUy-vlAk, as did Ania Dorfmann: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDbu...5hRRk&index=25

    (Bela Bartók likewise composed an educational collection of solo piano pieces for children or beginners, entitled "For Children", which you may want to consider, too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8HGOJlycqk; as did Tchaikovsky in his Op. 39 for children: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQET...s5hRRk&index=1)

    From the classical period, I'd suggest listening to Mozart's Piano Sonatas, Fantasias, & Variations, to see if there's anything that you feel you might be able to play, and start there. How about his Twelve Variations on "Ah, vous dirai-je Maman", K. 265, or "Twinkle, twinkle, little star", or parts of it?--or are they all too difficult?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHwa...&start_radio=1

    Or, how about an andante movement from a sonata by the Venetian composer Baldassare Galuppi?:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcvz6V8K3_A
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRVg_qqcRSw
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jul-22-2019 at 20:10.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    ^I'll check out those Mozart pieces. My teacher told me they though Mozart's sonatas were above my level at this point, and I agree.

    I'm not familiar with op.68, but I love the Kinderszenen, and the music book I have for it suggests that the Album für die Jugend is comprised of pieces written around the same time as the op.15 pieces. Anyway, I just learned the first piece in that book, "Von fremden Länden und Menschen". It's really fun to play and was really easy. I love Schumann's piano music and certainly intend to learn more, so I'll check out the op.68 book. God knows so much of his piano music is extremely difficult, so anything relatively accessible is worth knowing about, I think.

    I found the sheet music for the following piece, and I think I'm going to try and learn it...:


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    Junior Member chu42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamencosketches View Post
    ^I'll check out those Mozart pieces. My teacher told me they though Mozart's sonatas were above my level at this point, and I agree.

    I'm not familiar with op.68, but I love the Kinderszenen, and the music book I have for it suggests that the Album für die Jugend is comprised of pieces written around the same time as the op.15 pieces. Anyway, I just learned the first piece in that book, "Von fremden Länden und Menschen". It's really fun to play and was really easy. I love Schumann's piano music and certainly intend to learn more, so I'll check out the op.68 book. God knows so much of his piano music is extremely difficult, so anything relatively accessible is worth knowing about, I think.

    I found the sheet music for the following piece, and I think I'm going to try and learn it...:
    That's a good place to start. For a good choice of pieces ranging around that sort of difficulty, I suggest you purchase G. Schirmer's Sonatina Album for the Piano. I usually don't recommend G. Schirmer for sheet music but this is a fantastic purchase for novice-to-intermediate players who like music from the classical period.

    As for Schumann, the Album for the Young is great for beginners and probably easier than the Haydn piece you posted. Op.15 also looks fairly simple but they are probably too difficult at the moment. There is just so much going on in Op.15 in terms of phrasing, touch, and voicing that I would advise you to stay clear from them until you have developed a very strong basic technique. If you really love Schumann you could try learning Op.82 Waldszenen after some of the Op.68- it is similar in beauty and quite a bit easier than Kinderszenen.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chu42 View Post
    That's a good place to start. For a good choice of pieces ranging around that sort of difficulty, I suggest you purchase G. Schirmer's Sonatina Album for the Piano. I usually don't recommend G. Schirmer for sheet music but this is a fantastic purchase for novice-to-intermediate players who like music from the classical period.

    As for Schumann, the Album for the Young is great for beginners and probably easier than the Haydn piece you posted. Op.15 also looks fairly simple but they are probably too difficult at the moment. There is just so much going on in Op.15 in terms of phrasing, touch, and voicing that I would advise you to stay clear from them until you have developed a very strong basic technique. If you really love Schumann you could try learning Op.82 Waldszenen after some of the Op.68- it is similar in beauty and quite a bit easier than Kinderszenen.
    I've seen that Sonatina book. I'll have to check that out. Might head down to the music store today.

    I've been working on the first couple pages of that Haydn sonata and it's tough. Also very LONG. But it's a blast to play so far. Thanks for the tips re: Schumann. I'll look into the Album for the Young and also Waldszenen. As I might have mentioned, I've learned the first piece from Kinderszenen, and I think I'm pretty decent with it. But the rest of them do seem quite a bit more difficult.

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