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I recently picked up the piano again after about 20 years of not having one and am about as good as I was when I was 18, after a few weeks of remembering how to play. I have never played any classical pieces and am looking for a good one to start with. The most complicated pieces I can pay are probably Jurassic Park, Phantom of the Opera (several songs from it), and Bohemian Rhapsody—the difficult or *official* versions of each.

I have no delusions that I’m going to pick up Chopin’s Ballade in G, but was thinking I could do one of his nocturnes or maybe Claire de Lune. Any tips for a good classical piece to start with?

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Originally Posted by Dkahn04
Any tips for a good classical piece to start with?

Yes, start with a fairly simple piece you've almost certainly heard before - Op.9/2.

Leave Clair de lune for five years' time.


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It's hard for me to judge your level since I don't know what the "official" versions of the pieces you mentioned are. Could you post the official version that's the hardest among the pieces you play? This would be very helpful since I doubt many people know exactly what versions you're talking about.

The Chopin Nocturne previously suggested is reasonable depending on the difficulty of the versions of the pieces you mentioned. I don't think Claire de lune is much harder or even harder. So if you can handle the Nocturne you could try that also. You could start with the middle section which is the hard part and see if it's too hard.

There may be thousands of pieces of appropriate level of difficulty. Do you have any preferences for composers or musical periods?

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I usually have several pieces that I'd practice in rotation. If a piece feels too hard I'd drop it from the list for a later time. At any time I can be practicing up to 3 pieces.

My piano teacher got her students into some easy Jazz arrangements of old songs including "Georgia", "Summertime" & "Stormy Weather". I just finished the John Lennon song "Imagine". The 2 Classical pieces I'm working on is the Bach-Marcello Adagio which is the slow movement in a concerto and a Bach chorale also a slow piece. They're not the easiest but because of the slow tempo they're more playable than something written as Allegro or Presto. I played the first movement of the Bach Italian Concerto in F at a Christmas party a while ago. It's a piece I learned for a few weeks, took a break and came back after a few months. Some people think it's a difficult piece but I find it quite straightforward.

There are intermediate players who gets into the Turkish Rondo (Rondo alla Turca) and the first movement of the famous Sonata #16 in C if you're into Mozart.

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I would add Debussy Arabesque 1 to the list of suggestions.


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Since I hadn’t played in 40 yrs, and started again a yr ago, we have something in common. Once I got things moving in the right direction (hands/forearms in semi-shape), I started with the 2nd MVT to Beethoven’s Pathetique and then Chopin’s Op. 9 No. 2. Just started with Op. 9 No. 1.....and am having ALOT of fun😁.

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I suggest Chopin's preludes. Maybe with the exception of the Raindrop Prelude, they are quite short so you can learn them reasonably fast. They are not very complicated, yet very beautiful and very nice to perform in different contexts.

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Originally Posted by ghosthand
I suggest Chopin's preludes. Maybe with the exception of the Raindrop Prelude, they are quite short so you can learn them reasonably fast. They are not very complicated, yet very beautiful and very nice to perform in different contexts.
This would apply to maybe a third of the Preludes. Some, at least a third, are as technically difficult as the Chopin Etudes. Maybe another third would probably be too difficult for the OP.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by ghosthand
I suggest Chopin's preludes. Maybe with the exception of the Raindrop Prelude, they are quite short so you can learn them reasonably fast. They are not very complicated, yet very beautiful and very nice to perform in different contexts.
This would apply to maybe a third of the Preludes. Some, at least a third, are as technically difficult as the Chopin Etudes. Maybe another third would probably be too difficult for the OP.
Agree.


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I would suggest to start with some short and easy pieces and then if that works well, you can go up and start indeed one of the easier nocturnes. For Chopin, a couple of the preludes are easy enough, the waltz in A minor B150. There are plenty of pieces in that category.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Dkahn04
Any tips for a good classical piece to start with?

Yes, start with a fairly simple piece you've almost certainly heard before - Op.9/2.

Leave Clair de lune for five years' time.

Actually I find Clair de lune to be easier than the Opus 9/2.

However, if the OP has "never played classical pieces" I don't think either of these would be good to start with. And as PL noted, since we don't really know the OP's level it is hard to recommend something appropriate. It might make sense for he OP to start with something easy - such as selections from Schumann's Album for the Young, Greig's Lyric Pieces. OR - the OP could buy a volume of miniature works by a variety of classical composers such as found in the Denes Agay Classics to Moderns series...

https://www.stretta-music.com/en/agay-classics-to-moderns-book-4-piano-nr-417637.html

https://www.stretta-music.com/en/agay-classics-to-moderns-book-5-pf-nr-417638.html

.


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A. Durand: Valse No.1 op.83


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Given what the OP has written and having never played any "classical" work, the Durand Waltz is far beyond his/her level.

Regards,


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Bruce, I am assuming the OP is at the level of having something like 2 or 3 years of typical beginner classical piano training (if not more?) and is able to pick up very quickly after a lengthy hiatus?

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Originally Posted by newport
Bruce, I am assuming the OP is at the level of having something like 2 or 3 years of typical beginner classical piano training (if not more?) and is able to pick up very quickly after a lengthy hiatus?
Even if the OP could handle that piece(which I tend to think is unlikely), why suggest such what I frankly would call a piece of trash compared to works by the great composers?

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Even if the OP could handle that piece(which I tend to think is unlikely), why suggest such what I frankly would call a piece of trash compared to works by the great composers?


Really? I thought this piece is legit. I like it a lot personally.

Last edited by newport; 03/07/21 08:29 PM.
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
[quote=newport]Bruce, I am assuming the OP is at the level of having something like 2 or 3 years of typical beginner classical piano training (if not more?) and is able to pick up very quickly after a lengthy hiatus?
Even if the OP could handle that piece(which I tend to think is unlikely), why suggest such what I frankly would call a piece of trash compared to works by the great composers?[/quote

Maybe there is another way of suggesting music by s great composer or two rather than calling someone else’s suggestion trash, such as perhaps listing a couple of recommendations?


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Originally Posted by dogperson
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by newport
Bruce, I am assuming the OP is at the level of having something like 2 or 3 years of typical beginner classical piano training (if not more?) and is able to pick up very quickly after a lengthy hiatus?
Even if the OP could handle that piece(which I tend to think is unlikely), why suggest such what I frankly would call a piece of trash compared to works by the great composers?

Maybe there is another way of suggesting music by s great composer or two rather than calling someone else’s suggestion trash, such as perhaps listing a couple of recommendations?
Yes, my description of this piece was unfair and I apologize. I was shocked by the choice.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 03/08/21 05:52 PM.
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Thanks for starting a thread like this! I'm in a similar spot and always enjoy hearing suggestions. I find it great fun to put a new piece on the music stand and figure it out. Especially when it might be one I forgot all about.

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How about starting with say Mozart. Seems better to me for building tone, building melodic phrases and getting back the flexibility.


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