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Understated, passionate pieces?
#2317402 08/19/14 03:53 PM
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I just listened to the first piece of Schubert's Winterreise and I really like the simple, understated piano accompaniment. Do you know any good pieces like this for piano solo? I've listened to much piano music over the years, but I don't think I encounter such simple writing very often, there are so many complicated and difficult pieces. I'm especially interested in passionate, emotional pieces that are very approachable and simple to play (and read). The passionate and emotional music I'm familiar with is all very virtuosic. But if you know a passionate, simple piece, let me know! I of course know about the first movement of Beethoven's moonlight sonata, which I think is great music.

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317405 08/19/14 04:01 PM
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His Ständchen.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317406 08/19/14 04:09 PM
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Mozart's Rondo in A minor, K511 is one obvious piece.

Schubert's Moment musicaux No.6 in A flat, D780. And his Piano Sonata in B flat, D960 - II.

Actually, quite a few slow movements of piano sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Really depends on how 'simple' you want the music to be. Is Chopin's Nocturne in C# minor, Op. posth (Lento con gran espressione) simple enough? Or Brahms's Op.117/1?

And is Gershwin's Prelude No.2 'passionate'?


"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."
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317414 08/19/14 04:35 PM
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Last edited by pianoloverus; 08/19/14 04:52 PM.
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Atrys #2317415 08/19/14 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Atrys
His Ständchen.


The OP was asking about pieces "for piano solo" and while there are arrangements and transcriptions of the Schubert Ständchen, ranging from the relatively easy to the fairly difficult, perhaps we could find original piano solo pieces to answer the description.

I would suggest, for starters,
- Schumann: Träumerei, Romanze, Op 28. No. 2,
- Chopin: Op. 28 Preludes Nos. 2, 4, 6, 7, 13, 20; Waltz, Op. 34, No. 2
- Mozart: many of the slow movements from his Sonatas, i.e., those from KV330, KV333, KV545, among others
- Beethoven: same as Mozart, but particularly some of the Adagio movements as in Op. 10, No. 1; Op. 13;
- Grieg: Arietta, Op. 12, No. 1; Melodie, Op. 38, No. 3; Solitary Wanderer, Op. 43, No. 2; Erotik, Op. 43, No. 5; Shepherd Boy, Op. 54, No. 1;
- Schubert: Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 3; Waltzes, Op. 9, Nos. 1, 2, 14, 32, 34; Op. 18, Nos. 2, 6, Op. 33, No. 7.
- Brahms, Intermezzi, Op. 117, Nos. 1 and 2 ...

etc., etc., etc.

Regards,


BruceD
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Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
BruceD #2317418 08/19/14 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD

The OP was asking about pieces "for piano solo"

The Ständchen is available as a solo piece; whether or not it was originally written for solo play by Schubert is entirely and completely irrelevant.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Atrys #2317420 08/19/14 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by BruceD
The OP was asking about pieces "for piano solo"
The Ständchen is available as a solo piece; whether or not it was originally written for solo play by Schubert is entirely and completely irrelevant.
If this is your view you might want to specify which arrangement you're talking about. Some could not be described as "understated". smile


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
currawong #2317421 08/19/14 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by currawong
Some could not be described as "understated". smile

Agreed, but what I prefer may not be what OP prefers. I was simply pointing at a starting place: solo versions of the Ständchen.


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
R. W. Emerson
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317466 08/19/14 07:29 PM
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Lots of the Chopin nocturnes are very understated and passionate, with a lot of simplicity in their overall sound that still require overall a lot of control and sophistication. The later ones are among the best, IMO.
Here are two (relatively) little heard ones:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTfeTJME7-I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJ8RVjm49hE

Liszt, surprisingly, has many fairly understated pieces of music. His catalogue is HUGE so there's loads of them. Here is the gorgeous, peaceful, simple Hungarian Rhapsody 5 as an example:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXnBEM0wGIY

Another good one(less understated, more passionate):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByKcCS8LTQs

I could post something from Mozart or Beethoven or Haydn, but so much of their stuff fits the bill that it would be silly to single out any. Look for slow movements from sonatas in particular.

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317470 08/19/14 07:42 PM
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Brahms is kind of a spiritual successor to Schubert.. buy a book of Op. 116-119 and you'll have all the passion you are looking for. And most of it is not terribly difficult technically.. other than standouts like Op. 116/1 or 119/4.

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317634 08/20/14 07:59 AM
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Mendelssohn's Songs Without Words come to mind for me here. Some of them are technically very approachable, yet full of feeling.


1989 Baldwin R
Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
currawong #2317645 08/20/14 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by currawong
Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by BruceD
The OP was asking about pieces "for piano solo"
The Ständchen is available as a solo piece; whether or not it was originally written for solo play by Schubert is entirely and completely irrelevant.
If this is your view you might want to specify which arrangement you're talking about. Some could not be described as "understated". smile

Liszt..


I agree though that the originals are even more beautiful.
With Cello:


Or the original Schubert song (yes really wink ) with Dietrich Fischer Dieskau (of which the recordings I can find on Youtube are unfortunately far less beautiful then the recording I have at home).

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317669 08/20/14 09:37 AM
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One of my favourites:

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
bennevis #2317671 08/20/14 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by bennevis
Mozart's Rondo in A minor, K511 is one obvious piece.

Schubert's Moment musicaux No.6 in A flat, D780. And his Piano Sonata in B flat, D960 - II.

Actually, quite a few slow movements of piano sonatas by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Really depends on how 'simple' you want the music to be. Is Chopin's Nocturne in C# minor, Op. posth (Lento con gran espressione) simple enough? Or Brahms's Op.117/1?

And is Gershwin's Prelude No.2 'passionate'?


+1
To D 960 2nd movement. I am learning it right now. I tears up sometimes just playing. I hear feelings of despair marked with flickering hope and it ends peaceful.. It is such a pretty yet emotionally moving piece.

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317690 08/20/14 10:35 AM
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Some of my favorites fit into this category. I think Brahms and Schumann have some real gems in this department. Miniatures that are economical but with intense emotion.

Brahms:
- Op. 116 no. 4
- Op. 119 no. 1
Schumann:
- Op. 99 The Albumblätter (except no. 2), among others in the set.

Bach:
- Prelude no. 8 in E-flat minor from WTC I

I think what's common is that this type of piece creates space, relying a great deal on what happens between notes. It allows a lot of freedom for listener or performer to sink in. I find that these get better and better over time as they conform to your state of mind. I think you could find countless examples of this in Mozart too as someone else mentioned.

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317700 08/20/14 11:09 AM
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http://youtu.be/MfDmUk7ie6s

So simple, so hauntingly beautiful. Liszt's Consolation 3

Re: Understated, passionate pieces?
Reaper978 #2317723 08/20/14 12:07 PM
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Some of the slower Scriabin Op. 11 preludes might fit the bill . . . the religioso no. 15 is quiet yet intense and is a bit reminiscent of some late Liszt piano works.

I'm sorry I didn't reply to your email from last year.

I'll revisit it and reply - today - and would be happy to have an update there from you!


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