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#1996734 - 12/09/12 04:16 AM Favorite crowd pleaser?  
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TrueMusic Offline
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So as I'm becoming more and more serious about my piano playing and am planning to begin giving regular concerts sometime in the next year, I'm wanting to know - what are your favorite crowd pleasers? What pieces seem to get the crowd going, or do you know they want to hear? My first thoughts go to things like the Rach prelude in gm from op. 23, or La Campanella, or Hungarian Rhaphsody no.2 or even Clair De Lune and things like that. But just curious what you more experience pianists here think.

Obviously, before someone says it, the goal isn't to play something to please the crowd only or impress them with pyrotechnics, and I will always have pieces in my rep that are of great musical depth and those will always be my pride and joy, but I have nothing in my rep, really, that I feel would be good light entertainment to get a crowd going.

I was considering learning something like these [or writing my own arrangements to add more interest to the recitals]




I dunno, just things I'm turning my thoughts towards as my technique and musicality is forming up to even have the realistic thought of concertizing in the near future. I'd love to get some ideas from the more experienced people here.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
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#1996764 - 12/09/12 06:44 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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btb Offline
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Pretoria South Africa
9 December 2012
These popular pieces come to mind

Clair de Lunatic
Furry Lise
Rapping with Paganini
Moonlighting
Rhapsody in Pink
The lost F(ch)ord
Flay me to the moon
Bustle of sprang
The damn busters nark
The polony maze

#1996776 - 12/09/12 07:16 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Gnomenreigen by Liszt
Walderschraun by Liszt
Any of the hungarian rhap's by liszt
or a final movement from a big sonata like "the Waldstein"
And finally any chopin etude, or most of the polonaises

#1996781 - 12/09/12 07:32 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Gnomenreigen by Liszt
Walderschraun by Liszt
Any of the hungarian rhap's by liszt
or a final movement from a big sonata like "the Waldstein"
And finally any chopin etude, or most of the polonaises
completely finally Beethoven's rage over a lost penny

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#1996825 - 12/09/12 09:28 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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i've been to many a classical piano concert where the pianist has an encore piece in their repertoire that's rousing & fun, e.g.:



http://www.amazon.com/Horowitz-Encores-Vladimir/dp/B000003ER2

Last edited by Entheo; 12/09/12 09:29 AM.
#1996861 - 12/09/12 10:52 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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I would love to have something like Hamelin's Etude no.1 (triple etude after Chopin), Volodos Turkish March, or one of the non-single hand Godowsky etudes. All the Liszt etudes are great but a little long for encore duty.

A good one that I can (well used to be able to) play is Rachmaninoff Moments Musicaux op.16 no.4, and I think no.6 would be good too.

I think I might go pick up a few of the hardest Chopin etudes for encore purposes, I think I wouldn't ever put them in a serious program but I think they are good encore pieces as they are "cute" (that's the word that comes to mind for me at least).

Last edited by trigalg693; 12/09/12 10:55 AM.
#1996912 - 12/09/12 12:32 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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If you're going to write your own arrangements, just don't call them "incredible piano solos" smile

I think that some flashy left hand piece (like one of Godowsky's Chopin etudes for the left hand) would also be a crowd pleaser. It would probably catch people's attention.

Also, lyric pieces by Grieg


Working on

Chopin: op. 25 no. 11
Haydn: Sonata in in Eb Hob XVI/52
Schumann: Piano concerto 1st movement
Rachmaninoff: op. 39 no. 8

#1996920 - 12/09/12 12:48 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: trigalg693]  
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Originally Posted by trigalg693
[...]
I think I might go pick up a few of the hardest Chopin etudes for encore purposes, I think I wouldn't ever put them in a serious program but I think they are good encore pieces as they are "cute" (that's the word that comes to mind for me at least).


We certainly differ in our concept of what the Chopin Etudes are. You would call pieces that rank among the great works in the piano literature "cute," and never put them "in a serious program"? Really?



BruceD
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#1996928 - 12/09/12 01:05 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: Verbum mirabilis]  
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Originally Posted by Verbum mirabilis
I think that some flashy left hand piece (like one of Godowsky's Chopin etudes for the left hand) would also be a crowd pleaser. It would probably catch people's attention.

Also, lyric pieces by Grieg
Most audience members won't have heard of Godowsky or realize that the pieces are based on the Chopin Etudes. In addition, many of Godowsky's studies are actually quite restrained sounding even when there are many fast passages going on.

Grieg Lyric pieces can certainly be charming but no more of a crowd pleaser than other similar pieces. Not meant to impress technically although some will be charmed.

#1996932 - 12/09/12 01:21 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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The OP doesn't mention what kind of audience he will start start giving regular concerts to. This would determine what kind of music to play if pleasing the audience is one of the goals(it doesn't have to be).

The OP mentions "crowd pleasers" the the thread title but then says he doesn't just want technically impressive pieces and just play to please the crowd. Then he brings up playing pieces like flashy transcriptions of music from Pirates of the Caribbean and wanting to get the "crowd going" which makes it sound likes he intends to play for a teenage or young adult audience.

I think the OP has to sort out what he really wants to do because the opening post seems full of inconsistencies.

How does a student even start performing regular concerts?

In regards to some of the suggestions given, many of them(including some mentioned by the OP) seem considerably beyond the OP's present level based on his repertoire list.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 12/09/12 01:32 PM.
#1996947 - 12/09/12 02:13 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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You could try some of Kapustin's op.40 etudes, his op.41 Variations, or the finale to his op.39 Sonata-Fantasia. Really really light fare that's attractive, easy to listen to, and fun. There's also Gershwin's three preludes which are easier.

Alternatively you could try Christoper O'Riley's Radiohead transcriptions for less classically-inclined audiences.

In the more serious-music style, there are salon transcriptions (Rachmaninoff's reworkings of Kreisler's Liebesfreud and Liebeslied), toccatas (like Ravel's, Poulenc's, Prokofiev's) and the usual warhorses (Heroic Polonaise, G minor ballade).

And yeah, going along with what Plover said, almost all of these are super hard (except for the Gershwin Preludes).



Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#1996951 - 12/09/12 02:15 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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The Godowsky transcriptions are subtle but are not necessarily the most difficult pieces out there. The E flat minor left hand etude is fantastically written with some incredible fingering suggestions, but doesn't rile the crowd that much.

I think even the infamous left hand etude based on op.10 no.12 doesn't sound as impressive as the original.


Working on:
Chopin - Nocturne op. 48 no.1
Debussy - Images Book II

#1996962 - 12/09/12 02:39 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: BruceD]  
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by trigalg693
[...]
I think I might go pick up a few of the hardest Chopin etudes for encore purposes, I think I wouldn't ever put them in a serious program but I think they are good encore pieces as they are "cute" (that's the word that comes to mind for me at least).


We certainly differ in our concept of what the Chopin Etudes are. You would call pieces that rank among the great works in the piano literature "cute," and never put them "in a serious program"? Really?



I kind of agree with trigalg693. The etudes are like pop songs with a certain technical difficulty attached. The only reason I would ever put them in a serious program is that my rep is quite small and I know a couple.

#1996975 - 12/09/12 03:22 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
The OP doesn't mention what kind of audience he will start start giving regular concerts to. This would determine what kind of music to play if pleasing the audience is one of the goals(it doesn't have to be).

The OP mentions "crowd pleasers" the the thread title but then says he doesn't just want technically impressive pieces and just play to please the crowd. Then he brings up playing pieces like flashy transcriptions of music from Pirates of the Caribbean and wanting to get the "crowd going" which makes it sound likes he intends to play for a teenage or young adult audience.

I think the OP has to sort out what he really wants to do because the opening post seems full of inconsistencies.

How does a student even start performing regular concerts?

In regards to some of the suggestions given, many of them(including some mentioned by the OP) seem considerably beyond the OP's present level based on his repertoire list.


Or it was just an open ended question because I don't know what my regular concerts might look like yet, these ideas are still forming. Obviously I know many of the suggestions are too difficult right now, but I'm just looking for other peoples opinions. I didn't say I didn't want to play flashy technical pieces, just that isn't all I want to play. I'm not looking for what I should play, I'm not looking for rep suggestions, I'm simply looking for what other regular performers and concert goers find to be good crowd pleasing pieces. That is all.

Also, I graduate in the fall, so after that I'm no longer a "student" and my post said that I planned to start doing concert somewhere in the next year, not the next month!
And yes, most likely my primary audience I can attract at the start will be predominantly young adults, because that's who I'm best connected with and will draw to my concerts easiest right now.

Like I said, I'm just looking for opinions and discussions about what you think makes a good crowd pleasing peace, not necessarily what I should play. I just want to hear from other pianists what they think. I'll obviously be choosing my own rep with my own abilities kept in mind. [So even though I mentioned pieces that are currently past my grasp, I was simply giving my opinion what might make a good crowd pleaser.]


In regard to everyone else, thanks for the posts! there are some pieces here I haven't heard before and I'll check them out!

Last edited by TrueMusic; 12/09/12 03:23 PM.

Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1997172 - 12/10/12 12:22 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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I like have one or two "crowd pleasers" and have nothing against transcriptions for the most part, especially considering how many of them are from the 19th century, operas, songs, ect. I personally love playing the transcriptions from Christopher O'riley of Radiohead. Those have gotten good responses so far.

#1997205 - 12/10/12 02:43 AM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: JdhPiano924]  
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TrueMusic Offline
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Originally Posted by jdhampton924
I like have one or two "crowd pleasers" and have nothing against transcriptions for the most part, especially considering how many of them are from the 19th century, operas, songs, ect. I personally love playing the transcriptions from Christopher O'riley of Radiohead. Those have gotten good responses so far.


Ooh I'll look at those. I do love me some Radiohead. I saw them live here in San Diego a few years back - great concert!

Originally Posted by Verbum mirabilis
If you're going to write your own arrangements, just don't call them "incredible piano solos" smile


I laughed at this. Both when I saw it in the original video and when you posted this here, smile.


Piano/Composition major.

Proud owner of a beautiful Yamaha C7.

Polish:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnet 104
Bach WTC book 1 no. 6.
Dello Joio Sonata no. 3

New:
Chopin op. 23
Bach WTC book 2 no. 20
#1997522 - 12/10/12 07:09 PM Re: Favorite crowd pleaser? [Re: TrueMusic]  
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Jon Schmidt's "All of Me" is a great crowd pleaser in my experience.

Not particularly difficult despite appearances and instantly appealing.




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