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Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455496
08/25/08 02:20 PM
08/25/08 02:20 PM
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Midwest, US
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slowpogo Offline OP
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I'm compiling a "book" of short pieces from the various free sheet music places on the net.

Some things I have in there now are Schubert Impromptu 142 #2, Debussy's The Girl With the Flaxen Hair, Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude, Mendelssohn's Venetian Boat Song, etc..

What are some of your favorite pieces in this vein, short (no more than 5 pages) and not too difficult? I know I've heard some great Lyric Pieces from Grieg but don't know any opus numbers...

My plan is to use Photoshop to standardize all these free pdf's, give them similar margins and title formatting, correct slanting etc., then send them off to Kinko's and make a nice little spiral-bound book. (If anyone's interested I can make the resultant PDF available for download)

any suggestions appreciated!

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Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455497
08/25/08 02:29 PM
08/25/08 02:29 PM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 589
Los Angeles
akonow Offline
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Erik Satie has almost exclusively short pieces due to the fact that he scorned development (or at least so he said).


Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op 12
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455498
08/25/08 03:03 PM
08/25/08 03:03 PM
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pianojerome Offline
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5 Pieces, Op. 19 by Joel Engel

sheet music

Joel Engel was one of the founders / leaders of a nationalistic Jewish music movement in Russia, during the early 1900s, and also one of the most prominent music critics of his generation. He was very involved in the Russian Society for Jewish Folk Music, which was founded 100 years ago this October, although his goal (and that of the other composers) was not simply to collect folk music, but to create and publish original Jewish art music. (to call it a "Folk" Music Society was a political move, because the government didn't believe that there could really be such thing as Jewish "Art" music.) Unfortunately, despite promising success, the Soviet government closed down all of the various Jewish music organizations that had sprouted up after a couple decades, and most of the music hasn't been republished, so it's hard to find. Joel Engel later moved to Germany and founded the Juwal Publishing Company, which was also dedicated to the publishing of Jewish music.

Here he is on the left, next to the writer Anski:

[Linked Image]

These 5 pieces are really great. The first one, to me, sounds like two very different kinds of pieces put into one: it's basically an A B A, with the B section repeated; the A is like a dance, and the B is like a table song. The A section is actually not major or minor -- it uses a mode called "ahava raba" or "freygish" which is very common in Jewish music: A Bb C# D E F G A. (The B section is plain old D Major)

The second piece, "The New Song", is one that I just started recently. It doesn't use a distinctive Jewish mode -- it's a minor. Some things I like about this are the rhythm, and also when the rondo theme comes back each time it is harmonically very different. Joel Engel rarely liked to repeat the same thing twice in these pieces, and even though the second page is basically the same as the first, there are a lot of neat (small) alterations that he makes to really bring the music alive. I especially love measures 19-22 -- probably it's the rhythm that gets me.

The third piece I don't know very well, though I've played through parts of it. Like the first one, this uses the Jewish freygish / ahava raba mode: G Ab B-natural C D Eb F G. A "zock" is a kind of dance; I don't really know much about it, but to my ears it sounds very much like a chassidic kind of dance (chasidism was a very traditional branch of Judaism that was created in the early 1800s, as a reaction against the ultimately extremely influential Haskalah (enlightenment) movement that was started by Mendelssohn's grandfather, which basically said that Jews should assimilate into non-Jewish society. Chassidic Jews are very visually distinctive, because they dress in the traditional Polish/Jewish manner: big black hats, black coats, white shirts, and long curly side-burns)

The fourth one, "My Father's Nigun" -- a nigun, in Jewish culture, is a wordless melody that Jews sing on all sorts of occasions, both social and solitary. I sing them a lot to myself when I'm walking alone somewhere. I have no idea what this particular nigun has to do with Engel's father.... smile But, Engel wrote that when he was growing up, his father used to play a lot of Jewish melodies on his guitar, so that even before Engel became involved in Jewish nationalism, he always loved and was inspired by Jewish folk melodies.

The fifth piece, "At the wedding", is a very fun piece to play. If you know Enescu's 1st Roumanian Rhapsody, you might recognize the theme of the middle section (but Engel used it first, before Enescu!) Just like in the 2nd piece, Engel doesn't like to repeat things the same way twice, and he actually varies the return of the A section in some similar ways that he varied the return of the A section in the 2nd piece (the ending is also similar to that of the 2nd piece).

I'm not quite sure why these are so obscure, but I enjoy them a lot! I hope that you will, too.


Sam
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455499
08/25/08 03:11 PM
08/25/08 03:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
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pianojerome Offline
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Some more well-known pieces that are similar in mood to the ones you mentioned:

"To a Wild Rose" by Edward MacDowell
Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2 by Johannes Brahms
Berceuse, Op. 38 No. 1 by Edvarg Grieg
Nocturne Op. 54 No. 4 by Edvard Grieg
Nocturne Op. 9 No. 3 by Frederic Chopin


Sam
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455500
08/25/08 06:32 PM
08/25/08 06:32 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 13
Warren, MI
noseatbelts586 Offline
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Pianojerome, I assume you mean Chopin's Op. No. 2 in Eb? Op. 9 No. 3 is an interesting little piece, and probably the one of the most chromatic of the Nocturne's; nonetheless, I've never found it to be particular popular.

I'll also throw out there:
Suite Bergamasque No. 3 (Clair De Lune) by Debussy
Kinderszenen Op. 15 No. 7 (Traumerei) by Schumann
Prelude by Ravel (Not particularly well-know, but a wonderful little piece, especially harmonically.)
Etude Op. 10 No. 3 by Chopin. Although this may be a little more difficult than you're looking for, it's nothing short of gorgeous - Chopin considered it one of his most beautiful melodies. Alternatively, his Nocturne Op. 62 No. 2 is in the same key and just as beautiful, though maybe a little simpler. Both of the above pieces possess in the primary theme a somewhat nostalgic quality, but it's more of a contented reminiscence than a desperate yearning, as if Chopin wrote it while daydreaming on a sunny summer day. You'll understand what I mean if/when you've heard them.

Nice idea, by the way.

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455501
08/25/08 07:16 PM
08/25/08 07:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
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australia
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ZPomeroy Offline
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ravel sonatine movement 2
thalberg nocturne op.21 no.3

Zac


"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel

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Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455502
08/25/08 11:29 PM
08/25/08 11:29 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 9,868
pianojerome Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by noseatbelts586:
Pianojerome, I assume you mean Chopin's Op. No. 2 in Eb? Op. 9 No. 3 is an interesting little piece, and probably the one of the most chromatic of the Nocturne's; nonetheless, I've never found it to be particular popular.
Nope, I meant No. 3 in B Major. I like it much more than No. 2.


Sam
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455503
08/26/08 12:22 AM
08/26/08 12:22 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,376
New York City
pianoloverus Offline
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Bartok:Roumanian Folk Dances
Beethoven:Eccosaises, some of the Bagatelles
Chopin: selected Preludes and Mazurkas, Waltz in a minor, Waltz in A flat Op.69(L'Adieu)
Schubert:Valse Nobles, 2nd movement of Sonata in A major D.537, Moment Musical No.3 in f minor
Schumann: all of Kinderscenen, easier parts of Papillions, most of Waldescenen, Des Abends and Warum from Fantasy Pieces Op. 12
Debussy: all of Children's Corner Suite except The Snow is Dancing, Reverie
Scriabin: Etude Op.2, No.1, Etude in b flat minor from Op.8
Brahms: some of the Waltzes Op. 39, especially No.15
Gershwin: 3 Preludes
Godowsky:Alt Vien
Granados:Spanish Dance No.5
Mendelssohn: Duetto, May Breezes, Elegy
Mompou:Secreto
Albeniz: Malaguena

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455504
08/26/08 02:40 AM
08/26/08 02:40 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,226
Atlanta
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Minaku Offline
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I am a fan of Denes Agay's Sonatina no. 3, though it may be difficult to find. I think it's a lovely little piece, and the showcase is the third movement though no one has a video or recording of it.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vntkFUX-3BM">Here's a Youtube vid of a little kid playing the first movement, though.</a>

As for the Lyric Pieces, I like op. 12 no. 1 (Arietta), op.12 no. 2 (Waltz), op. and op. 71 no. 3 (Little Troll). Really there are too many Lyric Pieces to list.

I'd also like to suggest Debussy's "Minstrels".


Pianist and teacher with a 5'8" Baldwin R and Clavi CLP-230 at home.

New website up: http://www.studioplumpiano.com. Also on Twitter @QQitsMina
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455505
08/26/08 06:18 AM
08/26/08 06:18 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 86
Philadelphia
Mizzle Offline
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On the contrapuntal side:
Rameau: Gavotte and Variations-
In it's entirety it is 7 pages, but each variation (separate movements, in the manner of a Baroque dance suite), is only a page long.

Bach: Some the 2-part inventions such as-
No.8 in F
No.14 in Bb
Also, the easier dance forms to be found in his keyboard suites-
the Gavotte, Menuet, and Polonaise (from the French Suite No.6 for instance).

On the homophonic side:
I second the Beethoven Bagatelles and Brahms Waltzes
Prokofiev Gavotte Op.25


"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening at once"
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455506
08/26/08 08:07 AM
08/26/08 08:07 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 117
Midwest, US
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slowpogo Offline OP
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Thanks for all the great suggestions, you guys are right on the money. I'm going to try to include one or two works each from several of the major composers, so it will total about 40-50 pages.

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455507
08/28/08 03:07 AM
08/28/08 03:07 AM
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Posts: 116
California
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brian13 Offline
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Schumann Traumerei

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455508
08/28/08 11:00 AM
08/28/08 11:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,827
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Minaku:
I am a fan of Denes Agay's Sonatina no. 3, though it may be difficult to find.
Ha! I love that piece, too. My student played the first movement for a test two years ago. I've taught the first and third movements.

My edition is from Warner Brothers for $4.95.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455509
08/28/08 11:38 AM
08/28/08 11:38 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,218
Down Under
currawong Offline
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A few more suggestions:

Schumann - Albumblätter op.124 nos. 4 and 15 (both waltzes)
Beethoven - Bagatelle op.33#1 (E flat)
Schubert - Scherzo in B flat; Allegretto in C minor.
Mateo Albeniz - Sonata in D
Ravel - Prelude (1913)


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455510
08/28/08 02:15 PM
08/28/08 02:15 PM
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alyosha Offline
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Poem by Z. Fibich.

If that counts as "in the same vein"

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455511
08/28/08 03:44 PM
08/28/08 03:44 PM
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Midwest, US
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slowpogo Offline OP
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I finished my "book," which was quite a lot of work in the end. There are 24 pieces, 54 pages. I used a lot of your suggestions.

I'd like to share it with you all, but somehow the resulting pdf file is 40MB! Not to turn this into a tech forum but does anyone know how to reduce the file size of a PDF? It should really be no more than 2-3MB. Acrobat's "optimize pdf" command didn't do a thing. All the files are monochromatic GIFs, ranging from 100-500k in size. I thought Acrobat would compress them (I selected the "small file size" option) but it didn't compress at all.

If I have to reload all 54 pages into Photoshop to save in a different format I guess I can do that. How can I make very small black and white graphic files that don't compromise resolution?

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455512
08/28/08 03:49 PM
08/28/08 03:49 PM
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Posts: 21,889
Victoria, BC
BruceD Offline
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Francis Poulenc :

"Three Novelettes" (particularly the first and third)

and

The first of "Trois mouvements perpétuels,"

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455513
08/28/08 10:51 PM
08/28/08 10:51 PM
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Wudan Mountains
Mr. J Offline
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Quote
I'd like to share it with you all, but somehow the resulting pdf file is 40MB! Not to turn this into a tech forum but does anyone know how to reduce the file size of a PDF?
Turning it to pdf does not mean that the file size will get smaller. It'll just make the file(s) portable and/or uneditable. It will still retain the size of the original file. Yeah, I guess what you should do is edit the gifs/sheets in photoshop and reduce the image/resolution size.

But I think 40MB is an acceptable size already for a pdf book that mainly consists of quality-wise images. Your book could fit 2-3MB if it is made out of text (e.g. music sheet made with Finale software). You can upload it through some file sharing site like megaupload.com or rapidshare.com and post the link back here for everyone to download.

Hope this helps! smile


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Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455514
08/29/08 12:02 AM
08/29/08 12:02 AM
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Numerian Offline
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No one has mentioned Schumann's Klavierstucke fur die Jugend, op. 68. These are perfect for your purpose - short, many of them simple, highly musical, and they extend over his entire life so you get a flavor for the young and the mature Schumann. Don't be fooled by the title. They are designed to help young pianists advance, but they are adult in musical content, with the exception of the first few.

Re: Favorite shorter pieces, late intermediate/early advanced #455515
08/29/08 02:13 AM
08/29/08 02:13 AM
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ZPomeroy Offline
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hey slowpogo, have you figured out where to put the pdf yet? i'd love to get a copy

Zac


"I don't think I handle the notes much differently from other pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, there is where the artistry lies" - Artur Schnabel

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