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#1665949 - 04/24/11 06:11 PM Impressive but not difficult piano pieces?  
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I am not a very advanced pianist. I play the piano mainly for the enjoyment of myself not really to impress others. Though occasionally get asked to play for family, friends etc.
So I am asking suggestions for some new pieces that are basically easier to play than they sound that would impress/entertain listeners.

I am moving on to start my grade 6 soon but to give you an idea of my level here are a few pieces I can play:

Cecile Chaminade - Scarf Dance
Erik Satie - Gymnopedie no.1 & Gnossienne no.1
Clementi - sonatinas from op. 36
Gustav Lange - Blumedlied


Thanks

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#1665956 - 04/24/11 06:24 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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The big daddy of them all (or mommy, if we don't want to be sexist about it) smile is almost too obvious to mention:

Fur Elise

It's trite, it's a cliche, it's all that.
But it is what it is. smile

Except in the most snobbish company ha it is indeed "impressive," and you can never go wrong with it.

#1665967 - 04/24/11 06:44 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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To follow up from Mark C, here is how Fur Elise is played so beautifully by Valentina Lisitsa:

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


Last edited by lyricmudra; 04/24/11 06:45 PM.
#1665970 - 04/24/11 06:49 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Fur Elise.. I'm afraid I can already play that one!

It has never been one of my personal favourites so I don't play it that often. I know what you mean because it is one of the few classical pieces everyone is familiar with it is probably the type of piece my friends and family would like to hear smirk

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#1665975 - 04/24/11 06:54 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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I'm not sure what's exactly on the Grade 6 (or which board you're referring to), but the Bach Inventions - while contrapuntal and containing their own difficulties - are very nice sounding pieces you could consider.

Many Schubert and Schumann waltzes at easier levels can give the impression of a very 'full' sound.

Kuhlau Sonatinas are another pool to draw from.

Can you give us more insight as to *what* you'd *want* to play?


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Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.
#1665976 - 04/24/11 06:55 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: lyricmudra]  
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Originally Posted by lyricmudra
To follow up from Mark C, here is how Fur Elise is played so beautifully by Valentina Lisitsa:

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



Thanks that is a very lovely performance! She makes it so beautiful in comparison to how I would play it much faster and less..emotional!

#1665979 - 04/24/11 07:00 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Bach prelude in F major from book I well tempered clavier. It's fast and people think it sound hard when I play it, but it's not very hard.

#1665990 - 04/24/11 07:13 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Many years ago I had this exact same need; my teacher at the time directed me to a book called "Applause." They have book 1 and book 2, and there's a matching CD available. I played many of them well into college; they were great little pieces to keep in your pocket for when people say, "Play something!" I enjoyed them very much.

Oops... after writing all that I see that Alfred now publishes a series called "Encore" which has the same idea. I feel kind of old. smile

Both of them appear to have multiple levels of difficulty in the same book; I remember being able to play from mine for several years.


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#1665993 - 04/24/11 07:18 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Clementi Opus 36 Sonatinas? JC Bach Sonatas?


Justin
-------
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780
#1666000 - 04/24/11 07:50 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/24/11 08:11 PM.
#1666001 - 04/24/11 07:56 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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I have Applause book 1. (see mrscostco's note above) Lots of absolutely great stuff in it. Sound impressive, lots of fun to play, lots of basic technique employed. Great book. Highly recommended. I imagine book 2 is just as good but possibly more advanced?


Lee
#1666005 - 04/24/11 08:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: mrscostco]  
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Originally Posted by mrscostco
Many years ago I had this exact same need; my teacher at the time directed me to a book called "Applause." They have book 1 and book 2, and there's a matching CD available. I played many of them well into college; they were great little pieces to keep in your pocket for when people say, "Play something!" I enjoyed them very much.

Oops... after writing all that I see that Alfred now publishes a series called "Encore" which has the same idea. I feel kind of old. smile

Both of them appear to have multiple levels of difficulty in the same book; I remember being able to play from mine for several years.


Thank you, I looked at the contents of these Applause books and there seems to be some excellent pieces there as I searched a few on youtube. I think I will download one o two of the pieces off imslp for now and get the book later on, it's always nicer to have a book than lots of sheets!

#1666011 - 04/24/11 08:30 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus


Thank you for these lovely suggestions, all very nice pieces, not sure if I would be able to manage the one by MacDowell but as you say it might not be as hard as it sounds!

#1666038 - 04/24/11 09:47 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: leemax]  
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Originally Posted by leemax
I have Applause book 1. (see mrscostco's note above) Lots of absolutely great stuff in it. Sound impressive, lots of fun to play, lots of basic technique employed. Great book. Highly recommended. I imagine book 2 is just as good but possibly more advanced?


I think the book 2 is a little more advanced. I found this list of the pieces in it. Not only were they great to perform, but the pieces themselves were memorable and so easy to listen to and remember. My book has long since fallen apart & disappeared, but I can still hear the pieces in my head.


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#1666109 - 04/25/11 02:18 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Heller's "Warriors song"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTJI2d1CcI
Mozart Sonata K545 Mvt 1
Lots of Czerny......

#1666119 - 04/25/11 04:22 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works. They're not extremely difficult once you memorize them and can look at your left hand.

Amazon - Joplin




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#1666137 - 04/25/11 06:44 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Rachmaniov's prelude in c# minor?

#1666149 - 04/25/11 07:24 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Prokofiev diabolique Op.4 No.4 sounds hard but really isn't all that bad.


il.youtube.com/​watch?v=JztFLBlpA4Q&feature=related


Do or do not. There is no try.
#1666226 - 04/25/11 10:39 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Dave Horne]  
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Originally Posted by Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.

#1666236 - 04/25/11 10:50 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Try Grieg's Piano Sonata, or Sibelius's Piano Sonata: they're a lot easier to play than they sound. And few people have ever heard them grin, unlike say, Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy).

For something more abrasive-sounding, try Bartok's Suite Op. 14, again easier than it sounds.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#1666240 - 04/25/11 10:54 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
....Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy)....

I dunno, to me it's hard even to read through, which most pieces aren't.

I love that piece. If I thought it were easy, I'd be playing it. smile

#1666249 - 04/25/11 10:58 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by bennevis
....Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy)....

I dunno, to me it's hard even to read through, which most pieces aren't.

I love that piece. If I thought it were easy, I'd be playing it. smile


I only played it because I didn't know it was hard grin.

Actually, I find it lies well under the fingers, unlike many other pieces I could name, though the notes on the pages can look daunting initially.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
#1666251 - 04/25/11 11:01 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]  
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A friend plays the piece. Whenever I see him, I demand it. ha

#1666291 - 04/25/11 12:05 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]  
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Try Grieg's Piano Sonata, or Sibelius's Piano Sonata: they're a lot easier to play than they sound. And few people have ever heard them grin, unlike say, Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy).

For something more abrasive-sounding, try Bartok's Suite Op. 14, again easier than it sounds.


Thank you for these suggestions, going to listen to the sonatas on youtube now smile

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen I actually hadn't heard of this piece until about 2 weeks ago when my mother heard the piece on a 'Royal Wedding Collection' CD that she got free with a newspaper and demanded that I learn to play it.. I took one look at the sheets and filed them away into my ring binder that I have titled "Music I cannot play and probably never will be able to play"!
Though as you say it might not be as hard as it looks but it definitely looks too hard for me.. well my mother would be delighted if I could manage it!

#1666303 - 04/25/11 12:18 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Originally Posted by AaronL619
....it might not be as hard as it looks but it definitely looks too hard for me.. well my mother would be delighted if I could manage it!

I play Chopin Ballades and stuff, and it looks too hard to me!

BTW: I can never even remember the name of the piece. I always have to ask, wedding day at where??

And I bet other people have the same problem. Maybe the piece would be more popular if he just called it "Wedding Day at Wherever." ha

#1666362 - 04/25/11 02:15 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Chopin Waltz in A Minor, Posthumous


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#1666391 - 04/25/11 03:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Not an arpeggio frenzy but a really exceptional piece

Chopin - Prelude op.28 no.4

#1666431 - 04/25/11 04:27 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]  
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Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


And running for the ice cream truck. laugh

#1666437 - 04/25/11 04:32 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Damon]  
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Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by Mark_C
Originally Posted by Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


And running for the ice cream truck. laugh


We can't deny that ragtime does seem to appeal to children, the Thomas the Tank theme tune was a rag if I remember rightly? also the milky bar kid advert theme!

#1666440 - 04/25/11 04:39 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]  
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Maybe Liszt's Rhapsody #3 (easier than #2).




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