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Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
#1484900 07/30/10 08:17 PM
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Hello all, long time lurker and rare poster. I'm a jazz player but enjoy practicing classical and would love some suggestions to build my repertoire.

What would you say are some of the pieces that have the biggest gap between their difficulty to play and their beauty. And by difficulty I mean strictly technically - leave interpretation aside, if that's possible. And certainly I realize beauty is in the ear of the beholder.

As examples, the 1st movement of the Moonlight and 2nd of the Pathetique would be stellar examples, though certainly among the most played sections of classical piano music.

Bonus points for full pieces vs. movements.

Last edited by Uncledave; 07/30/10 08:28 PM.
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Uncledave #1484904 07/30/10 08:24 PM
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Debussy: "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" (no. 8 from Preludes, Book 1). It's the first "real" piece I learned, and it is just gorgeous.

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
WinsomeAllegretto #1484947 07/30/10 10:00 PM
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Liszt's Concert Etude 3, Un Sospiro

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
oceanix #1484986 07/30/10 11:36 PM
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Schumann From Foreign Lands and People (from Op 15). Packs a lot of bang for your bar - into a very short piece with bonus repeats. Easier than the other pieces suggested so far.


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Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Canonie #1485088 07/31/10 07:27 AM
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Beethoven's Andante Favori (the original second mvt. of the Waldstein sonata)


Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Victor25 #1485092 07/31/10 07:38 AM
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(Musicality vs. Technicality?)
Hmm. I really don't think there is nearly as much of a dichotomy between musicality and technicality that some say. I think EVERY piece by a half-competent composer is musical. Liszt's "Grand Galop Chromatique" or "Mezeppa" or Balakirev's "Islamey" are very musical works. The composer put each note and expression marking in the optimal places to convey the exact musical picture he wanted to. And on the other side, these slow pieces mentioned in the original post are TECHNICALLY difficult. Having a wide dynamic range (especially between ppp, pp, p, and mp) is VERY difficult, and having a sense of touch to put accompanying voices "under the voice" while voicing the melody with a richer singing tone is also difficult. (Schubert Impromptu 90/3, Pathetique middle movement, Moonlight 1st movement, etc.)


My little rant aside, I have a few favorite slow, pretty pieces: Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess, Menuet on the Name of Haydn, Forlane (kind of jazzy in some spots) and Menuet from Le Tombeau de Couperin, second movenent of the Concerto in G; Chopin: Almost all the nocturnes and many of the Preludes, Ballade 4 in F Minor (This piece is very, very difficult, but the beauty overshadows the virtuosic difficulty in my opinion); the list could go on and on. smile

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Orange Soda King #1485112 07/31/10 08:32 AM
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Here's some. If you tell us some of your latest pieces it would help us decide what to include as recommendations.

Chopin:Mazurka in g minor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmKlYaygCek

Garson:Lullaby for Our Daughters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW__f8K0THQ

Bach/Cohen:Liebster Jesu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jjjMGCl030

Jarrett:My Wild Irish Rose
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IfYPC4b4Rg

Quilter/Hough:Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtqQAfoNCeI

Jarrett: Over the Rainbow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eq0EWNuR1H8&feature=related

Bach: Allemande from French Suite in G
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucb2vXSVvl0

Mompou:Secreto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVUIqMvcHlQ

Halvorsen/Andsnes:Chant de Veslemoy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=288to6E5GDA

Morricone:Theme from Love Affair
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuTlypXuDqg

Brahms/Cortot:Lullaby
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St7XtuVdLQQ

Brahms: Waltz in A flat Major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oy6uV-eMOEs

Scriabin:Etude in c# minor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-S1MhgOxQ28

Schumann:The Poet Speaks(with a free lesson by Cortot)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIshPW0mKM4

Mozart:Andante from Sonata K.545
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDG199MRF-o

Chopin: Waltz Op.34 No.2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxM9UG0nuUI

Chopin:Waltz L'Adieu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlzF_jLZOL4

Schubert: Andante from Sonata in A major
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f9Hq34L8Ag&feature=related

Chopin:Nocturne in E flat Op.9
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScVkvd9-N-g&feature=related

Jarrett:Shenandoah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGktGNSF6mc&feature=related

All these pieces(except Garson) are available for free online.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 07/31/10 09:29 AM.
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Orange Soda King #1485114 07/31/10 08:35 AM
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I don't understand the question. Do you - the OP - mean: "what are some profoundly beautiful pieces that are easy to play?"

If that's the question then:

- Beethoven - "Tempest" sonata 3rd movement.
- Schumann - Arabesque
- Several of the Chopin preludes #4, #15, for example.
- Several of the Chopin mazurkas
- Bach C minor partita - the Allemande and Sarabande


Those are some examples, but with all of them it's difficult to make them sound beautiful.

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Phlebas #1485120 07/31/10 08:49 AM
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How about horrendously difficult pieces that are completely banal? Then you have a single piece that stands almost alone - Liszt's Grand Galop Chromatique.

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Phlebas #1485121 07/31/10 08:51 AM
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Hmm you put the 3rd movement of the tempest sonata there, now I feel bad, because I think its really not easy frown.

@Pianoloverus where could I get Bach - Liebster Jesu ? Its amazing !

Last edited by Victor25; 07/31/10 08:52 AM.

Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Victor25 #1485164 07/31/10 10:14 AM
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MacDowell's "To a Wild Rose"

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Victor25 #1485203 07/31/10 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Victor25
Hmm you put the 3rd movement of the tempest sonata there, now I feel bad, because I think its really not easy frown.

@Pianoloverus where could I get Bach - Liebster Jesu ? Its amazing !


It's not easy. But it is a very beautiful piece, and not as hard is it is beautiful - IMHO.


Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Phlebas #1485361 07/31/10 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Phlebas
I don't understand the question. Do you - the OP - mean: "what are some profoundly beautiful pieces that are easy to play?"


Yes, that's what I mean. You've stated it much clearer than I did! Thanks for the recommendations all.

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Uncledave #1485368 07/31/10 04:24 PM
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Estrellita by Manuel Ponce

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Damon #1485403 07/31/10 05:28 PM
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Solace by Scott Joplin

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Damon #1485511 07/31/10 08:27 PM
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"Peace Piece" by Bill Evans

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
YammyG2 #1485669 08/01/10 03:39 AM
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Beethoven Op106

edit: to below, yes I was just kidding

Last edited by Victor25; 08/01/10 06:51 AM.

Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Victor25 #1485706 08/01/10 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Victor25
Beethoven Op106


Umm, you did read the question, yes?



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $

Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
stores #1485869 08/01/10 11:53 AM
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On a more serious note, everybody should play Chopin's Op28 no 20
Also beautifull is Mendelssohn's Op 102 nr. 6

Last edited by Victor25; 08/01/10 12:07 PM.

Currently working on: Perfecting the Op 2/1, studying the 27/2 last movement. Chopin Nocturne 32/2 and Posth. C#m, 'Raindrop' prelude and Etude 10/9
Repetoire: Beethoven op 2/1, 10/1(1st, 2nd), 13, 14/1, 27/1(1st, 2nd), 27/2, 28(1st, 2nd), 31/2(1st, 3rd), 49/1, 49/2, 78(1st), 79, 90, 101(1st)
Re: Biggest "degree of difficulty" to "beauty/depth" spreads
Victor25 #1486077 08/01/10 05:10 PM
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Schubert's Impromptus, or his 3 Klavierstücke, that's 11 masterpieces of moderate technical demands, but musically of Himalayan proportions.


Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure, but not anymore!

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