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In the past, I was a fairly decent piano player -- maybe 7th or 8th grade but only with lots and lots of drill to do so. But now I don't have time to drill away at Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, etc. and -- except for some Scarlatti -- frankly, I'm bored with the same old same old. I'm looking for new horizons among modern composers to keep my interest up and to move forward, if not necessarily upwards.

I have heard good things about Ginastera and Persichetti, among others, and I hear some find their works interesting. I don't know these or other moderns, and am looking for suggestions among you who have tried these and others, and liked the experience. That is, modern composers that I might try, to renew the spark of interest and love I used to have in piano playing. And of course, suggestions about select pieces to dip my fingers in initially, to get a taste. Please pitch in with any and all suggestions you might have, and thanks so much!

Last edited by cfhosford; 11/13/21 02:15 PM.

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I think Chee-Hwa Tan is an interesting modern composer.


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Danza de la moza donosa (Ginastera)
You can try pieces by Poulenc (maybe the novelettes)
Have you tried Debussy?

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Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/13/21 02:55 PM.
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Astor piazzolla





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"Modern" can mean a lot of different things as you can see from the suggestions - from Debussy to jazzy arrangements of Halleluja. I think you should tell us a bit more about what style you like.

Personally, I like Bartók though many people hate him. I'm currently learning Romanian Folk Dances, which is around the difficulty grade you are seeking.

Some people here like to play minimalistic music like Glass or Einaudi, although that might bore you quickly too.

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I have never seen Gershwin mentioned in these here parts, so check out his own solo version of I Got Rhythm, it's 4 pages and looks like it's within Grade 8 technically (I say looks like, because I haven't played it myself 😅, but I'm interested in what others have to say about it, if anything).


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Originally Posted by cygnusdei
I have never seen Gershwin mentioned in these here parts, so check out his own solo version of I Got Rhythm, it's 4 pages and looks like it's within Grade 8 technically (I say looks like, because I haven't played it myself 😅, but I'm interested in what others have to say about it, if anything).
Or if that song is too hard, there are 17 others to choose from in the Gershwin Songbook.

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Originally Posted by cfhosford
I have heard good things about Ginastera and Persichetti, among others, and I hear some find their works interesting. I don't know these or other moderns, and am looking for suggestions among you who have tried these and others, and liked the experience. That is, modern composers that I might try, to renew the spark of interest and love I used to have in piano playing. And of course, suggestions about select pieces to dip my fingers in initially, to get a taste.
There's lots and lots, and it's just a matter of trying out whatever you fancy.

Ginastera's Argentinian Dance No.2 has already been mentioned, and it's played by everyone from Argerich to Barenboim. Ditto with Bartók's Romanian Folk Dances. If you've never tried Gershwin, his Three Preludes is a good place to start.

And how about Khachaturian's flashy but not-too-difficult Toccata?


This one too is a lot easier than it looks or sounds:


This is very easy and popular:


Bearing in mind it's almost that time of year.....(and the composer is still living):


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Try Passacaglia by Halvorsen based on the Handel piece arranged for piano.


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All things I wish I could play/have attempted to play in the past...







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Sam

I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOVE that first piece, the toccata. Everything about it. Perfection. Even the notation!

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Originally Posted by An Old Square
Sam

I LOVE LOVE LOOOOOOOOVE that first piece, the toccata. Everything about it. Perfection. Even the notation!

Muczynski has lots of good piano pieces. I have played 3 of the 6 preludes (1, 2, and 6). They are shorter and easier than the toccata, but still in that bold, brash style.

Sam


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Another Gershwin piece is his early Rialto Ripples:

I think this is a great rag!

I think Ernesto Lecuona’s Afrocuban dances are great fun:


Or this lively Joropo by Moises Moleiro:

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I just heard this on the Portland, OR all classical station this morning.

Ernesto Nazareth wrote lots of other cool sounding music that sounds like it would be a ton of fun to play. Looks too difficult for me at present, but the composer's name is going on my bucket list.



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How about Aaron Copland? Some of his stuff is REALLY "modern"-i.e. 12 tone row, etc.
But I love these:


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