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How can you choose one?! I like Beethovens Sonatas, all of Chopin, Debussy Arabesques, Mozart Sonatas and fantasia in D minor and Bach Prelude and Fugues
An impossible question it is true, but if a gun was pressed to my head (a situation that would doubtless please many) I would say B's Diabelli Variations is the greatest piece ever for piano. I believe Brendel to name but one thinks the same.
 

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For me, the 2 pinnacles of the piano literature would come down to two names, Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit and Prokofiev's Sonata No. 6 in A Major.

In my opinion, the 6th Sonata's brilliant and absolutely genius 1st movement has always been overshadowed by the popularity of the 4th movement (even though that movement, I feel, does not deserve enough attention still.)

Another fabulous composer is Charles Valentin Alkan. The little attention he receives is probably due to the difficulty of his works. I just listened to his Symphony for the Solo Piano, which is an incredible thrill ride, with a complexity and creativity that really matches that of great symphonies.
 

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Well, my favourite piano pieces are the last handful of sonatas by Beethoven, and also his two late sets of Bagatelles (which are much more profound than their title or length would suggest). Also I love the music of Alkan - a contemporary of Chopin and Liszt but a nineteenth-century composer with a twentieth-century aesthetic.
 

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Thank you guys for ressurecting this thread I was unaware of.

For a long time I didn't like piano music, thinking of it as "plain old vanilla" for some reason. Maybe it's because it is ubiquitous. But after pursuing an understanding of Beethoven's works for several years I've done a complete about face and it is undoubtedly my favorite solo instrument for listening. I even prefer baroque music played on piano rather than harpsichord as it has a more soothing sound to my ears. I still prefer the harpsichord for continuo however - the piano does not work well in that role.

Favorite pieces? The 32 Beethoven sonatas as mentioned frequently above of course. I also think the piano lends itself very well to the impressionists and some moderns Debussy, Ravel, and Poulenc.

I haven't really learned to grasp or appreciate virtuoso piano as in Liszt or many other romantics. It's just so much showing off to me, but I'm sure if I studied it I would like it more.
 

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I love piano music!

I'm very much enjoying Prokofiev just now, and I think his piano music is terrific. I love his war sonatas, the toccata, his 2nd and 3rd Concerti- just a few to mention!

Rachmaninov and Liszt fall into the category of piano music I love to listen to, but will probably never be able to play! I think Liszt, rivaled only by maybe Ravel, used the piano to it's complete potential, exploiting the full range and colours of the instrument.

Moving to Impressionism, I'm also a fan of Debussy and Ravel. Debussy's music has always seemed, to me, to have a charm that very few composers can master. Debussy's preludes, in particular, are sublime. Ravel's music is towering. The piano concerto in G Major is one of my favourite concerto's just now.

For consistently fantastic piano music, however, I adore Chopin. Even his name has that certain elegant sound that is shared by his music.

There are many more. How I love the piano! :)
 

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Mostly i like mozarts piano sonata and duos, beethovens moonlight sonata, rachmaninoffs prelude in c sharp minor and right now debussy's clair de lune.
Buy a double volume of Beethoven's Sonatas cheap on Amazon. You'll thank me.

You may also want to look deeper into the real Debussy masterpieces:

Arabesques
Preludes
Reflets dan l'eau
Suite Bergamesque (from which clair de lune is from)
Suite Pour le Piano
L'Isle Joyeuse
Estampes

If you like Debussy, Ravel's piano output would be good too:

Sonatine
Valses nobles et sentimentales
Miroirs
Jeux d'eau
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Gaspard de la nuit

For Four hands: Ma mere l'Oye, and the sublime Piano Concerto in G
 

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i sometimes go through phases of only playing one composer, usually bach, sometimes debussy or brahms, rarely mozart or beethoven. i think chopin and brahms both had a tremendous understanding of the instrument, which makes their music physically fun to play, whereas bach and beethoven can feel quite uncomfortable at times.

if i had to choose just one piano piece for the rest of my life i'd be hard pressed to choose between the 2nd english suite by bach (technically the best suite, but the 4th is probably more beautiful), the slow movement of the second C-major piano sonata by mozart (really!), the 1st chopin ballade and brahms intermezzo opus 118 no 6.
 
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