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#2703697 - 01/10/18 01:03 PM Suggestions for new pieces  
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Rearden93241 Offline
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Hi,

I've been playing for 2 1/2 years now and am now at a place where I don't know which piece to play next. I'll first list my repertoire, so you know where I am at skillwise.

Für Elise, Comptine d'un autre ete, River flows in you, Chopins Nocturne Nr. 20, Träumerei Schumann, Clair de Lune by Debussy, La Fille aux cheveux de lin by Debussy, Bach Prelude in C Major and the first movement of the Moonlight Sonata.

I know some of this is advanced repertoire but I had about a year where I was playing 4-5 hours daily 7 days a week so I made really good progress (also reading alot on how to learn pieces, technique, etc.)

I have tried the first movement of the Waldstein Sonata but gave it up after a couple months because it would take too long to really finish it. I was able to play the first 4 pages at tempo but since it has 15 and it took me that long, I will approach such repertoire when my technique has improved (maybe in a couple of years).

I already have a list of pieces I want to learn (way too many^^) but here they are. I dont know which of these fit my skillset best and I would like something that challenges me, but not too much, like the Waldstein.

Chopins Nocturnes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,8,9,13,14,15,18,19,20
Chopins Waltzes: 7,10, A Minor Nr. 11
Fantaisie Impromptu
Chopin Etüdes: 2,3,11
Schubert D899: 2,3,4
Debussy Arabesque 1
Chopin Funeral March

I have left out all Beethoven Sonatas and Chopin Ballades.


I am very thankful for any suggestions on pieces and other topics!


Last edited by Rearden93241; 01/10/18 01:06 PM.
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#2703709 - 01/10/18 02:09 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Hi there Rearden93241. I see these sorts of topics a lot. The first question most will ask is, "Do you have a teacher?" That'll be followed by the suggestion, "Listen to her/his advice first". If you don't, we're also likely to suggest you try to find one if at all possible. Playing classical repertoire is much easier with a teacher than without.

That said, if you could play any of the first movement of the Waldstein at tempo, you're more than ready for all of the Nocturnes and the Schubert Impromptus you list. Literally everything on that list outside of Fantasie-Impromptu is within your reach. Pick the thing you like the most and go at it. It likely won't be without challenge but there is absolutely no harm in trying.

Best of luck to you.

#2703717 - 01/10/18 02:45 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Of the Chopin nocturnes, the easiest are Op. posth in C minor, Op.15/3, Op. post in C# minor, Op. 37/1 and Op. 9/2. I don't know what numbers they are.

Of the Chopin waltzes, Op.70/1 (No.11) is the most difficult, the others are OK. I think you should leave the études and F-I for at least a few years.

As for the rest, there's no harm trying them out.

The problem is, if you don't have a teacher (especially if you've never had a teacher), you might well be storing up intractable problems for the future (developing bad technique which becomes ingrained) by attempting to play all these stuff, which are all advanced.


"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."
#2703722 - 01/10/18 02:57 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Colin Dunn Offline
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I recommend playing some Ludovico Einaudi or Greg Maroney next (unless you want to stick only to classical repertoire). Einaudi will give you a little more of a challenge than "Comptine d'un autre ete" and "River flows in you" but isn't an outrageous step up in difficulty like the Beethoven sonatas or the Chopin works you listed. The études, in particular, are extremely difficult and may prove discouraging like the Waldstein.

For Greg Maroney, his work ranges from intermediate pieces like you've finished recently, up to advanced pieces that could be as difficult as a Beethoven sonata movement. He has simplified as well as full arrangements of his pieces available. Look at the sample first pages on his Web site, and see if you think the simplified or full version is at your level of playing. I suspect you'll want to jump into the full arrangements, but if you do, start with the easier pieces first before tackling the really hard ones...


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#2703733 - 01/10/18 03:35 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Colin Dunn]  
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Originally Posted by Colin Dunn
I recommend playing some Ludovico Einaudi or Greg Maroney next (unless you want to stick only to classical repertoire). Einaudi will give you a little more of a challenge than "Comptine d'un autre ete" and "River flows in you" but isn't an outrageous step up in difficulty like the Beethoven sonatas or the Chopin works you listed. The études, in particular, are extremely difficult and may prove discouraging like the Waldstein.

For Greg Maroney, his work ranges from intermediate pieces like you've finished recently, up to advanced pieces that could be as difficult as a Beethoven sonata movement. He has simplified as well as full arrangements of his pieces available. Look at the sample first pages on his Web site, and see if you think the simplified or full version is at your level of playing. I suspect you'll want to jump into the full arrangements, but if you do, start with the easier pieces first before tackling the really hard ones...



This is probably a good recommendation. What are your goals exactly? All that Chopin is quite ambitious for someone with only 2.5 years experience.

I do see some glaring holes in your previous repertoire list. There isn't a lot of Bach (only the one prelude?), no Mozart, Haydn or Clementi. There is only a small sample of early to later romantics (no Mendelssohn, Brahms?). If you want to pursue 'classical' piano seriously I recommend you build up on more foundation (easier) repertoire. It is quite a leap from the easier 'greatest hits' to Chopin etudes

Check out RCM or ARBSM syllabi and see what grade level you may fit in and try out a variety of pieces at that level.


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#2703747 - 01/10/18 04:24 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Your list of pieces varies from fairly modest difficulty to ones only playable by those with virtuoso technique. I'll try to break them down into 4 groups. Groups 1 and 2 should be no problem. Hard to tell how hard you'd find my group 3 pieces which vary quite a bit themselves.

1. Easiest: Arabesque, A minor Waltz

2. Somewhat harder: the 4 Nocturnes mentioned in a previous post and Op. 55 No.1, Waltz 10

3. Considerably harder: Funeral March, Nocturnes not listed in group 2 or 4, FI, Chopin Etude 3, Waltz 7, the 3 Schubert Impromptus

4. Virtuosos level: Chopin Etudes 2(if you mean Op. 10) and 11(if you mean
Op. 25), Nocturnes Op. 9 No.3, Op. 15 No.1, Op. 27 No.2, Op. 48 No.1

#2703749 - 01/10/18 04:29 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Colin Dunn Offline
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I really should learn the Chopin funeral march this year. It's been on my list for a while.

EDIT: Found the music at the IMSLP. I presume this is the funeral march from the 2nd piano sonata, Op. 35. Not Op. 72, which is a different funeral march and not the famous one. While it is a slow piece, it looks difficult with lots of dense chords in both hands. I read in D-flat major / B-flat minor pretty well, but many will find that key difficult from a reading perspective. Guess I'll try reading it during my sight-reading practice and see how it goes. I think it would take me a long time to learn to play it well.


Last edited by Colin Dunn; 01/10/18 05:21 PM.

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#2703927 - 01/11/18 10:11 AM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Thanks for all the replies. I currently don't have a teacher but I will get one once I can play more consistently (work is very time consuming at the moment).

So I've picked a few nocturnes: Op. 9 Nr. 2, Op 15 Nr 3, Op 55 Nr. 1, Op. Posth. in C Minor

So these should be doable and keep me busy for a while right?

Also Chopins Preludes 4 and 7 would fit my skill level right?

EDIT: Alright the Preludes above are really easy.

I have another question: Would you say that 30-45 minutes on workdays and 2-4 hours daily on weekends are enough to play the pieces I have listed in my previous post? (Chopins Nocturnes/Ballades, Beethoven Sonatas, Schubert Impromptus D899,...)


Last edited by Rearden93241; 01/11/18 10:48 AM.
#2703931 - 01/11/18 10:46 AM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Originally Posted by Rearden93241
Thanks for all the replies. I currently don't have a teacher but I will get one once I can play more consistently (work is very time consuming at the moment).

So I've picked a few nocturnes: Op. 9 Nr. 2, Op 15 Nr 3, Op 55 Nr. 1, Op. Posth. in C Minor

So these should be doable and keep me busy for a while right?

Also Chopins Preludes 4 and 7 would fit my skill level right?

Even though you obviously love Chopin, as others have said I don't think it's such a good idea to limit your new rep to just one composer. The Debussy and Schubert pieces you listed are possible and there are many other pieces by those two composers of suitable difficulty for you.The Chopin Preludes you chose are among the easiest technically but there are others of mid level difficulty(2,6,9,10,15,17,20,23) doable also.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/11/18 10:53 AM.
#2703937 - 01/11/18 11:01 AM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Originally Posted by Rearden93241
I have another question: Would you say that 30-45 minutes on workdays and 2-4 hours daily on weekends are enough to play the pieces I have listed in my previous post? (Chopins Nocturnes/Ballades, Beethoven Sonatas, Schubert Impromptus D899,...)
If you mean right now, then some of those pieces are not appropriate I think. Some of them(some of the Nocturnes, all the Ballades, some Beethoven Sonatas) require professional level technique and great musical understanding.

If you mean in the future, then anything is possible but only a small percent of pianists ever reach the level where they can perform the most difficult pieces on your list well. But the literature of the piano is so rich that at your present level there are more very great pieces by very great composers than one could learn in a lifetime.

The Beethoven Sonatas have a huge range in difficulty. If you Google "Beethoven Sonatas difficulty" you will probably get several listings and you can use that as a guide. I googled "Debussy piano works difficulty ranking' and got many good hits:
https://www.google.com/search?as_q=...e=images&as_filetype=&as_rights=

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/11/18 11:07 AM.
#2703942 - 01/11/18 11:13 AM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: pianoloverus]  
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Yes I realized that when I tried the Waldstein first movement.

I actually have a complete list of pieces I like and would like to play, but its way too much (around 8 hours). So right now I try to find whats in my capacity to learn and not too big of a stretch.

Btw. heres the list if someone has Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/user/tom-stelzer-de/playlist/5DcoFl84XUKhzkIwG4cZP1

This is in my opinion the best that classical music has to offer for solo piano. I've really listened to all there is (literally everything) and this is what I like best.

Last edited by Rearden93241; 01/11/18 11:18 AM.
#2703966 - 01/11/18 12:11 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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It seems to me that you basically enjoy "the greatest hits" and happily forgo everything else. If you want to become an accomplished musician - and from your commitment and ambition I assume that's your goal - you might want to broaden your horizons. There's so much wonderful music out there, even if it's not all immediately likeable and catchy. Also, I think it's more gratifying to play beautiful pieces that are diverse and maybe a bit obscure, rather than be the 1-millionth wannabe pianist that can (somehow) play Clair de lune or the Moonlight Sonata. I would listen a lot to BBC Radio 3 or similar radios, and explore as many composers you can from all eras, especially Bach, Mozart, and Schumann.

Just my opinion.


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#2704031 - 01/11/18 03:11 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: sinophilia]  
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
It seems to me that you basically enjoy "the greatest hits" and happily forgo everything else. If you want to become an accomplished musician - and from your commitment and ambition I assume that's your goal - you might want to broaden your horizons. There's so much wonderful music out there, even if it's not all immediately likeable and catchy. Also, I think it's more gratifying to play beautiful pieces that are diverse and maybe a bit obscure, rather than be the 1-millionth wannabe pianist that can (somehow) play Clair de lune or the Moonlight Sonata. I would listen a lot to BBC Radio 3 or similar radios, and explore as many composers you can from all eras, especially Bach, Mozart, and Schumann.

Just my opinion.


I share your opinion 100% - there is quite a wealth of lesser known gems I'm discovering every day.


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#2704067 - 01/11/18 05:48 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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I see nothing wrong with playing very popular pieces if someone likes them. Most of them are popular because they're beautiful or have catchy melodies. It is a good idea to listen to and explore the vast piano repertoire, but not everyone has the time or desire.

Even most professional pianists play mostly the standard rep either out of personal choice or necessity.

#2704068 - 01/11/18 06:00 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Many of these Ballades and Etudes are only beautiful because we hear them being played by people with YEARS of experience. Not that these pieces aren't beautiful, but playing them with expression is another level than just knowing the notes.

#2704557 - 01/13/18 11:02 AM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Rearden93241]  
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Hi, Rearden, as the preceding responders have already indicated, all the pieces you mentioned in your initial post are advanced or even highly advanced stuff, at least if an acceptable result is desired. After only 2 1/2 years I would recommend none of the pieces you mentioned there. Of course, I may be wrong and you are highly talented. If not, I would recommend for example things like the B-flat major Nocturne H.37 by John Field (the inventor of the nocturne), the Largo B.109 by Chopin or the Romance oubliée S.527 by Franz Liszt.

#2704635 - 01/13/18 03:08 PM Re: Suggestions for new pieces [Re: Pianist685]  
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Originally Posted by Pianist685
Hi, Rearden, as the preceding responders have already indicated, all the pieces you mentioned in your initial post are advanced or even highly advanced stuff, at least if an acceptable result is desired. After only 2 1/2 years I would recommend none of the pieces you mentioned there. Of course, I may be wrong and you are highly talented. If not, I would recommend for example things like the B-flat major Nocturne H.37 by John Field (the inventor of the nocturne), the Largo B.109 by Chopin or the Romance oubliée S.527 by Franz Liszt.

Actually I don't think anyone said they were all tool advanced or not suitable. Many of them, but not all and the OP made the choice of selecting ones that seem appropriate in a later post.

Also, even if they were all too advanced why suggest very minor works by great composers or works by a relatively minor composer when there are many very great works by Chopin and a few by Liszt that are easily within the OP's abiliity and even easier than the ones he proposed?


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