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#2260093 - 04/11/14 04:04 AM After Burgmüller opus 100?  
Joined: Jan 2013
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Brussels, Belgium
Hi everyone,

As a "getting reacquainted" present, an old friend recently gave me a gift card to a nearby sheet music store. It's probably re-gifted, but I'm still pretty happy with it. The only catch is, it must be used within two weeks or will expire.

So I was thinking: once I finish my current long-term "Burgmüller opus 100" project, where do I move on to? I know what you're probably all going to say: ideally, this is a question I should be asking of my own teacher. I don't disagree. But I won't be seeing her before April 25, since we're on Easter break right now. And by then, the gift card will have expired. Also, it can't hurt to get different people's ideas.

The pattern that has emerged in my lessons since I started with this teacher goes more or less like this:

  • I have a list of "dream pieces" that are way over my head, from which I've so far picked two each year to work on long-term (three to four months).
  • I have shorter-term repertoire pieces, my choices of which have so far almost always been determined either by a themed recital on the ABF, or something I'd heard someone else play for one of the quarterlies. I work on those for about four to five weeks, usually.
  • I occasionally do Bach because my teacher tells me to, since Bach is a major part of the minimum piano curriculum at my music school.
  • Burgmüller, so far, has mainly served the purpose of giving me something new to read on a regular basis, because most of the other music I play I tend to have heard before. And in my case, having heard something before is pretty deadly for my inclination to actually read the sheet music. It's also gotten to the point where Burgmüller is now easy enough that I can get one of those opus 100 pieces under my fingers in a week, and then work on it another week (or several weeks, if I want to perform it in public) for spit and polish.


So my question: can you think of any other collections like Burgmüller opus 100, meant to build technique but also musical, short but "performable", and close but not too close in difficulty level to where I am right now?

I'd hate to go from here straight to always exclusively working on "serious" repertoire, because as I move on in that, I fear I'm eventually going to get to a point where *everything* takes three or four months (if not longer) to get performance-ready. I think that would suck the fun out of it. So, what else can I get?

ETA: If you're going to suggest Bach inventions or sinfonias, I already have those smile.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
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#2260107 - 04/11/14 05:36 AM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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DanS Offline
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Heller 50 Selected Studies (from op 47,48, 49)

or/also Burgmuller op 109 then 105

The Heller studies progress nicely to Mendelssohn Songs Without Words

#2260215 - 04/11/14 11:23 AM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: DanS]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Dan's suggestion is excellent. I cannot recall the opus number of his easiest etudes, but that would be an alternate choice. There are also graded anthologies of etudes which you can look at.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2260248 - 04/11/14 12:37 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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DanS Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Dan's suggestion is excellent. I cannot recall the opus number of his easiest etudes, but that would be an alternate choice. There are also graded anthologies of etudes which you can look at.


Thanks... I would love to know about another Burgmuller opus! I wasn't aware of any that were worthwhile other than the ones mentioned.

#2260270 - 04/11/14 01:16 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: DanS]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Brussels, Belgium
Thanks, John and Dan!

I think I might get both Heller and some more Burgmüller. I also read elsewhere that Kabalewski might be worth considering. If so, what are the relevant opus numbers? Any thoughts on the usefulness of Kabalwski pieces in general, for my purposes?


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2260294 - 04/11/14 02:15 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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DanS Offline
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I'm not a huge fan of Kabalevski, but there are a few pieces I like, such as the Tocatina; it's in A minor. There's also a nice Sonatina. Maybe someone can help out with the op numbers on those.

#2260307 - 04/11/14 02:43 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Brussels, Belgium
Thanks, Dan.

While we're at it (if you don't mind): suppose you had about 70 dollars to spend on sheet music (which I do, give or take), and suppose you were in my shoes. What would you get, just generally speaking?

I usually pick my pieces either for a specific purpose (such as for an ABF recital or to play with and for friends), or because there's a remnant of them haunting me in my dreams; I've had to ask my teacher or Shazam to identify a stray fragment of music for me more than once. But pieces that "call out" to me that way are usually on the "way over my head" side of things.

Besides the obvious (Clementi Sonatinas, perhaps Kuhlau too, and Bach and Bach and then more Bach), what would you recommend for someone like me?


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2260320 - 04/11/14 03:07 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Diabelli Op. 168 Sonatinas

Kabalevsky Op. 27 (that's the one with Toccatina)

Tchaikovsky Op. 39 Album for the Young

I'm not a big fan of the other Burgmuller studies. The Schumann Album for the Young is all over the map in terms of difficulty.

But if you're going to play the Rameau Gavotte with the 6 Doubles, that piece is way more advanced than anything being suggested so far. Is that your "dream piece"?


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2260340 - 04/11/14 04:04 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: AZNpiano]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
But if you're going to play the Rameau Gavotte with the 6 Doubles, that piece is way more advanced than anything being suggested so far. Is that your "dream piece"?


It's on the list. I realise it's going to take me a long, long time to get that thing anywhere near presentable. Maybe it's completely beyond me for now, and if I can't play it at recital after four months of trying, I'll just drop it. But I'm still going to try, because I always do. Shoot for the stars, and if you happen to land on the moon, be happy.

Right now, I'm looking for things that will be playable for me with two to four weeks of practice. Something to break up the routine with while I'm working on a "way beyond me" piece for months on end.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.
#2260414 - 04/11/14 06:41 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: DanS]  
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John v.d.Brook Offline
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Dan, I was referring to the Heller suggestion.


"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA
#2260439 - 04/11/14 07:55 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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hreichgott Offline
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You need more 20th-21st c. !

There's a beautiful "Fairy Tale" by Kabalevsky that you might enjoy.

Bartok, Mikrokosmos either book 2 or 3 (I'm guessing 3 is right for the time scale you are talking about)

Violet Archer, can't think of a specific piece but she has some good music at this level.

Seymour Bernstein "Birds"


Heather W. Reichgott, piano http://heatherwreichgott.blogspot.com

Working on:
Fauré, Preludes Op. 103
Beethoven trios for an original ballet
Four-hands program of Mozart, Corigliano, Schubert and Barber
And... Nunsense II (whole show)

I love Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and new music
#2260463 - 04/11/14 08:45 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: hreichgott]  
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malkin Offline
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by hreichgott
You need more 20th-21st c. !



Stravinsky Cinq Doigts!!!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2260467 - 04/11/14 08:58 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: John v.d.Brook]  
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DanS Offline
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Dan, I was referring to the Heller suggestion.


Oh, yeah that makes more sense.

#2260692 - 04/12/14 12:20 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: Saranoya]  
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DanS Offline
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DanS  Offline
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Originally Posted by Saranoya

While we're at it (if you don't mind): suppose you had about 70 dollars to spend on sheet music (which I do, give or take), and suppose you were in my shoes. What would you get, just generally speaking?

Heller 50 selected studies -Shirmer ed
Songs Without Words- get a nicer edition of this one. It's worth it
Classics, Romantics, Moderns-carl fischer--it's a red book.

For the other 2 Burgmullers, I have the Alfred's edition. It's nicely readable.

Alfred's also has introductory books to many composers,
such as these...
I use the Beethoven one with a lot of students.

I just want to add, I went on a music spending spree some years ago, and I remember just feeling overwhelmed. Completely overwhelmed by all the music that I felt that I needed to play.

There's so much to play and tastes change as you progress...

#2261064 - 04/13/14 01:02 PM Re: After Burgmüller opus 100? [Re: DanS]  
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Saranoya Offline
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Saranoya  Offline
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Brussels, Belgium
Originally Posted by DanS
Heller 50 selected studies -Shirmer ed
Songs Without Words- get a nicer edition of this one. It's worth it.


OK. Heller it is, then smile. The Songs without Words left on the list were beyond my reach (at least to learn within the timeframe I would have had to) when the themed Mendelssohn recital came around here the last time. But maybe I'm there, now. We'll see. In any case, I'll want to get some version of those at some point, so it might as well be now.

Originally Posted by DanS
Classics, Romantics, Moderns-carl fischer--it's a red book.


I already have that one. My teacher brought me that book along with the Burgmüller at my second lesson with her.

Originally Posted by DanS
Alfred's also has introductory books to many composers,
such as these...
I use the Beethoven one with a lot of students.


Looks interesting! Thanks.

Originally Posted by DanS
I just want to add, I went on a music spending spree some years ago, and I remember just feeling overwhelmed. Completely overwhelmed by all the music that I felt that I needed to play.

There's so much to play and tastes change as you progress...


That ... is definitely true. Which is why I tried to be specific in my original request: something that can come after Burgmüller 100, and take over the specific function Burgmüller 100 is fulfilling for me, right now. Heller and the other two Burgmüllers seem to be the popular options in that regard. That, plus Songs Without Words, and maybe Alfred's introduction to Schumann. I think I'm over budget already! smile.


Plodding through piano music at a frustratingly slow pace since 9/2012.

Standard disclaimer: I teach many things. Piano is not one of them.

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