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#1194387 - 05/06/09 10:31 AM Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces?
Jules85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Canada
I've been playing for over 10 years, mostly modern composers and popular arrangements, and would really like to start working on some classical repertoire. Could you suggest some beautiful Bach and Mozart to start off with?
I would prefer to start with something not too technically difficult... grade 8 and under. My goal is not to spend weeks or months on one piece right now, but to add a nice variety of easily mastered classics to my repertoire.


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#1194413 - 05/06/09 11:19 AM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Jules85]
Woody-Woodruff Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/08
Posts: 622
Loc: Coastal Mississippi
I would recommend Chopin and the A-minor Waltz. Either one is fairly easy to learn and play. Most of the Chopin waltz's are base/chord in the left hand and melody in the right so they are easy to pick up when you are used to popular music so it makes for an easy transition. Of the two, the Opus Post. is the easier. As with all Chopin however, easy to learn - difficult to master. If pushed to recommending something between Bach and Mozart I would recommend the Mozart Turkish Rondo as fairly easy - at least in parts. I hope this helps.

#1194417 - 05/06/09 11:31 AM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Woody-Woodruff]
Angelus-Mortis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 43
Loc: Canada
I've always found the last movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto 10 to be a really nice piece. But I'm not entirely sure how difficult it is, and you need two piano players for it.

#1194424 - 05/06/09 11:41 AM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Jules85]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10770
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Originally Posted By: Kar
...Could you suggest some beautiful Bach and Mozart to start off with?

Originally Posted By: Woody-woodruff
... I would recommend Chopin and the A-minor Waltz.

Ummm, Kar has specifically asked for Bach and Mozart suggestions to help introduce him to classical (and earlier) styles.


If grade 8 is roughly what I think it is, many of the Mozart sonatas are approachable. Take a look at the sonata no. 10 in C (K330), for instance.

Edited by Piano*Dad (05/06/09 11:43 AM)

#1194495 - 05/06/09 01:50 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 14919
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Have you ever played a Bach invention or a Classical sonata? If not, I recommend starting out by playing some of Bach's Little Preludes. They are short but tricky and will help prepare you for playing contrapuntal music. They will also help you with some of the ornaments if you get a good edition that has them explained. From there you can proceed to the Inventions.

If you've never played a Classical sonata, I would start with a sonatina. Clementi's Op. 36 No. 1 or 2 are great to begin with, even if they seem a bit easier than what you're used to. Again, its' about preparing yourself and learning things without skipping over important elements. If you can play these with style and ease, then consider harder sonatinas. I personally like Anton Eberl's sonatina (something I recently discovered published in the Henle sonatina album), or Hoffmeister's sonatina. I don't have the book handy to give you opus numbers, but they are both in the Henle sonatina book, and are very challenging but fun to play. Only once you have mastered a few of these would I recommend looking at a Mozart Sonata. Haydn also has some great sonatas and he's worth checking out as well when you're ready.

Baroque music requires careful articulations, the ability to make each voice "sing" (and deciding which voice is important to bring out where), and complete separation in the mind between LH & RH so that they can act independently. Dynamics are also going to overall less than what you are accustomed to in modern music, and there will be less use of pedal in the "romantic" style. Rather than making a lush continuous sound, the pedal is used directly for coloring purposes.

Classical music requires excellent evenness of scales and arpeggios and common LH accompaniments like Alberti Bass. Crisp articulations are also very important here. Again, pedal is used only for coloring purposes and accentuation, not for legato playing or blurring of harmonies. However, unlike Baroque music, Classical is considered homophonic. It's not a bad word, :P it just means that you have a distinct melody in one part and a distinct accompaniment or harmony in another part. Much of Classical music requires very closed-hand work, vs. wide-spread or open-hand music in Romantic and later periods. This means a different touch and generally more curve to the fingers.

In both time periods, the performer is more 'exposed'. The harmonies are such that wrong notes really stand out more, and you don't have the pedal to "hide" behind or obscure things. Because of this, the demands are much different and precision is key in both styles. Studying both periods is extremely valuable for anyone's technique. Not the mention the fact that there is just some absolutely astounding music in these periods that you don't get anywhere else. They weren't considered geniuses for no reason! laugh
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1194521 - 05/06/09 02:34 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Morodiene]
Euphonatrix Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/14/06
Posts: 518
Loc: Hessen, Germany
The Bach two-part inventions offer pieces for almost every mood (cheerful, festive, contemplative, sad ...) and should not be too much of a problem at your level.

I absolutely adore Bach's Fantasia in c minor, BWV 906, which has some tricky spots.

Edited by Euphonatrix (05/06/09 02:34 PM)
"The creative process is nothing but a series of crises."
(Isaac B. Singer)

#1194650 - 05/06/09 05:59 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Euphonatrix]
mrbean Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/29/09
Posts: 7
Loc: Lakeville, MN
I'm a fan of Bach - prelude and fugue No. 1 in C major 846
not sure what level this is considered since I don't take lessons but it sure sounds nice!


#1194651 - 05/06/09 06:02 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Jules85]
MarkL Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/07
Posts: 728
Loc: Chicago Suburban
You can listen to clips of pieces of chosen difficulty here, for example Bach:


You can either pay for sheet music by the piece if you want it, or join and get unlimited downloads.
Yamaha P90

#1194652 - 05/06/09 06:09 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: MarkL]
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I'm not terribly familiar with Mozart, but the Rondo in a minor (K. 511) must qualify as one of his most beautiful pieces.


#1194726 - 05/06/09 08:55 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: sotto voce]
Jules85 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 115
Loc: Canada
Lots of great suggestions here... I've checked some of them out on youtube and am excited to start learning them. Thanks a lot!

#1194729 - 05/06/09 09:03 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Jules85]
eweiss Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 2393
Loc: Beautiful San Diego, CA
I like the Mozart flute concertos. Listen to em all the time. I know it's not strictly piano but I like the flute as well.
Play New Age Piano

#1194771 - 05/06/09 10:34 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Jules85]
Otis S Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 204
Mozart's sonata in C Major, k. 545 is one of the easiest to play and one of his most recognized sonatas. You could probably learn it relatively quickly.

Some other good choices include the sonata in A major, k. 331 (also one of his most commonly played sonatas)
C Major, k 330
C Major, k. 309
D Major, k. 311
F Major, K. 332
G Major, k. 283
B flat major, k. 333

The rondo in A Minor, k. 511, is also a great piece.

The following sonatas are my favorite ones by Mozart but are also more difficult both technically and musically:
A Minor, K. 310
C minor, k. 457 (along with the Fantasy, K. 475)
F Major, k. 533/494
D Major, k. 576

Regarding Bach, you should definitely consider playing some of his inventions as well as preludes and fugues from the two books of the Well Tempered Klavier (some of these are fairly advanced). There are several other good suggestions for Bach earlier in this thread.

#1194798 - 05/06/09 11:45 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Otis S]
DameMyra Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 2153
Loc: South Jersey
One of the most beautiful pieces by Bach would be Kempff's transcription of the Siciliano movement from Bach's Flute Sonata.


(Not my favorite performance. There is an absolutely transcendent performnace by Tatiana Nikolayeva but it looks like it's no longer available on youtube.)
Private Piano Teacher

#1195379 - 05/07/09 11:24 PM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: DameMyra]
Angelus-Mortis Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/26/09
Posts: 43
Loc: Canada
Oh, I just found one. Mozart's Fantasia K. 397.

I mistakenly thought Chopin composed it, and went all over the place, looking for this piece by Chopin, only knowing how it sounded, and then finally found it was a Mozart piece.

It appeared in a Frederick Harris grade 9 book, but the difficulty list here says it's in grade 6. It's doable, as I just sight read it, and find it's not too bad; if I spent some more time on it, I could play it a bit better and work on interpretation soon after.

#1195419 - 05/08/09 01:33 AM Re: Most beautiful Bach & Mozart pieces? [Re: Angelus-Mortis]
akonow Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/08
Posts: 589
Loc: Los Angeles
The first movement of Mozart's Sonata K282 is really beautiful. As for Bach, I really enjoy WTC I in C-sharp major and C-sharp minor.
Bach - WTC I in C major & C minor (BWV 846-847)
Mozart - Sonata K 282
Chopin - Polonaises Op 26
Schumann - Fantasiest├╝cke Op 12


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