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#3170308 11/12/21 03:56 PM
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'm looking for one or more pieces to perform at an informal Christmas concert at my workplace. Because we're experiencing another surge in covid cases, the concert will be virtual and we're asked to record a short piece. The exact length is not defined but I'm considering anything under 10 minutes and am willing to make cuts if necessary.

The audience will be co-workers from the same building, who do not necessarily have any musical background. There will probably also be pop bands and other folks submitting their recordings.

I'm just an amateur pianist in my late 20s but had many years of lessons with an excellent teacher in my teens. Because I haven't performed for a long time, I'm mostly looking into old pieces that I learned a while ago. I also avoid pieces that are extremely overplayed.

So far I've assembled the following list:

  • Prokofiev - Prelude op. 12 no. 7
  • Beethoven - Sonata d minor op. 31/2 (Tempest) - 3rd movement
  • Chopin - Impromptu no. 1
  • Chopin - Nocturne op. 55 no. 1
  • Schumann - Fasschungsschwank aus Wien op. 26 - I. Allegro: Sehr Lebhaft
  • Ravel - Sonatine - 1st movement
  • Scriabin - Preludes Op. 11 (selection from nos. 1-5, 11, 12, 24)


Keeping in mind the audience, my short preparation time and the fact that it's recorded, which of the above pieces would you pick if you were me?

If you have other suggestions for pieces I could learn in 2-3 weeks (doesn't need to be perfect), then also let me know. I'd actually really love to learn Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso op. 14, Chopin Rondo a la Mazur op. 5, Ravel Jeux d'Eau. However, I doubt that I could manage to any get these pieces to performance level in just 2-3 weeks.

So my second question is: If you could play any piece you wanted, what would you play at an informal Christmas concert?


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Since it’s a Christmas concert, I would look for a medley of Christmas carols. Something like
Xmas medley- music notes.com

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Originally Posted by PianoEntropy
Keeping in mind the audience, my short preparation time and the fact that it's recorded, which of the above pieces would you pick if you were me?
If you want to play one of the above you should pick the one that you like most and/or are most confident with.

Quote
If you have other suggestions for pieces I could learn in 2-3 weeks (doesn't need to be perfect), then also let me know. I'd actually really love to learn Mendelssohn Rondo Capriccioso op. 14, Chopin Rondo a la Mazur op. 5, Ravel Jeux d'Eau. However, I doubt that I could manage to any get these pieces to performance level in just 2-3 weeks.

So my second question is: If you could play any piece you wanted, what would you play at an informal Christmas concert?
I've played in several Christmas concerts, and, as well as light-hearted flashy pieces like the Mendelssohn Op.14 (which I've been playing since I was a teenager) and Sinding's Rustle of Spring (- it's always good to remind people that spring is just around the corner....), I always add a Christmassy piece. Like Adeste fideles by Liszt or Stille Nacht by Reger wink :


(N.B. the whole suite runs into 40 minutes, but there are many other selections from it you could consider.)


You can probably sight-read this:





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Originally Posted by dogperson
Since it’s a Christmas concert, I would look for a medley of Christmas carols. Something like
Xmas medley- music notes.com

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into the medley.
I don't think it has to be Christmas music though, just music that fits the general mood of Christmas and the time of the year. So I wouldn't play anything too heavy, disturbing, or abstract/atonal. I'm practising Beethoven's Appasionata at the moment but that would definitely be unsuitable.

Last edited by PianoEntropy; 11/12/21 04:43 PM.

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Originally Posted by bennevis
[quote=PianoEntropy]
I always add a Christmassy piece. Like Adeste fideles by Liszt or Stille Nacht by Reger wink :


(N.B. the whole suite runs into 40 minutes, but there are many other selections from it you could consider.)


You can probably sight-read this:




Thanks for the suggestions! I actually really like the Tchaikovsky, and adding a short Christmas piece would indeed be a good idea.


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Actually I just found a perfect piece, but it's probably too hard to learn in 2-3 weeks:


Pletnev's transcription of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite.

Unfortunately I can't find the sheet music on IMSLP. If anyone knows where to get this sheet music, let me know.
EDIT: found the sheet music here - https://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=22585.0

Last edited by PianoEntropy; 11/12/21 04:59 PM.

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Christmas? Say no more 😄


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Brazilian Sleigh Bells - Percy Faith - great tune - I play it all the time...

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Pieces out of the Charlie Brown Christmas album. It's an American cartoon special on TV that came out in the 1960s. The Jazzy tunes including "Christmas Time is Here", "Skating", "Linus & Lucy" were written by Vince Guaraldi. I played several of these at a holiday gathering.

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I vote for the Prokofiev Opus 12 No. 7.

It's short, sounds "Christmasy" (bell-like), has an appealing melody, a contrasting middle section with a little "bite," and sounds difficult to play. You'll be exposing your audience to something that is classical without beating them over the head. grin


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This might be really weird but I learned Volodos Turkish March last year, and I always felt like it was a very cheery piece that fits right in with the likes of Sleigh Bells/Jingle Bells/whatever. Maybe I should go practice it today.

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For those who want something easy (and sight-readable) to play that's truly Christmassy, as well as being a 'classical' piano piece that will also double up as a Christmas quiz (for your more knowledgeable audiences), Reinecke's Weihnachts-Sonatine, Op.251/3 does the job:


It contains tunes from Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Handel's Messiah as well as Silent Night and another German carol (O du fröhliche, o du selige), and the chorale Von Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her.


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Bartok's Rumanian Christmas Carols.



Dohnanyi's Pastorale might be difficult to work up, but you should consider it.



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The Pletnev Nutcracker arrangement previously mentioned is one of my favorites. Here is another Christmas arrangement which is just as wonderful (and challenging)!


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This from Rossini is another nice Christmas piece. There is a version for chorus, as well.



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Well, I took some of your suggestions and settled with the first two Nutcracker suite movements as well as the film music theme Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. I've done a first complete recording of this short recital which I posted in the Member Recordings section - link to post.

For people who are too lazy to click on another link, here's the YouTube video directly embedded into the post:


It would be great to get some feedback! I obviously need to work more on the Nutcracker, but I still have 1-2 weeks to go.

Last edited by PianoEntropy; 11/28/21 04:58 PM.

Kawai ES-110

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Nice playlist — but I would suggest that you confirm with the organizers that the 19+ min is appropriate for your segment.

I would also ending with the Nutcracker

Last edited by dogperson; 11/28/21 06:09 PM.

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Thanks! This ~20 min concert is mostly for my own usage, to send to friends, family and colleagues. For the streamed concert at work, I'll probably pick 1-2 pieces from this playlist which sound best / are most appropriate. So probably the Nutcracker if I manage to polish it...


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