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#1665949 - 04/24/11 07:11 PM Impressive but not difficult piano pieces?
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
I am not a very advanced pianist. I play the piano mainly for the enjoyment of myself not really to impress others. Though occasionally get asked to play for family, friends etc.
So I am asking suggestions for some new pieces that are basically easier to play than they sound that would impress/entertain listeners.

I am moving on to start my grade 6 soon but to give you an idea of my level here are a few pieces I can play:

Cecile Chaminade - Scarf Dance
Erik Satie - Gymnopedie no.1 & Gnossienne no.1
Clementi - sonatinas from op. 36
Gustav Lange - Blumedlied


Thanks

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#1665956 - 04/24/11 07:24 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Mark_C Offline
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The big daddy of them all (or mommy, if we don't want to be sexist about it) smile is almost too obvious to mention:

Fur Elise

It's trite, it's a cliche, it's all that.
But it is what it is. smile

Except in the most snobbish company ha it is indeed "impressive," and you can never go wrong with it.
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#1665967 - 04/24/11 07:44 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
lyricmudra Offline
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Registered: 12/25/10
Posts: 182
To follow up from Mark C, here is how Fur Elise is played so beautifully by Valentina Lisitsa:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAsDLGjMhFI



Edited by lyricmudra (04/24/11 07:45 PM)

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#1665970 - 04/24/11 07:49 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
AaronL619 Offline
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Fur Elise.. I'm afraid I can already play that one!

It has never been one of my personal favourites so I don't play it that often. I know what you mean because it is one of the few classical pieces everyone is familiar with it is probably the type of piece my friends and family would like to hear smirk

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#1665975 - 04/24/11 07:54 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
ll Offline
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I'm not sure what's exactly on the Grade 6 (or which board you're referring to), but the Bach Inventions - while contrapuntal and containing their own difficulties - are very nice sounding pieces you could consider.

Many Schubert and Schumann waltzes at easier levels can give the impression of a very 'full' sound.

Kuhlau Sonatinas are another pool to draw from.

Can you give us more insight as to *what* you'd *want* to play?
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#1665976 - 04/24/11 07:55 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: lyricmudra]
AaronL619 Offline
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Posts: 46
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Originally Posted By: lyricmudra
To follow up from Mark C, here is how Fur Elise is played so beautifully by Valentina Lisitsa:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAsDLGjMhFI



Thanks that is a very lovely performance! She makes it so beautiful in comparison to how I would play it much faster and less..emotional!

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#1665979 - 04/24/11 08:00 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
WinsomeAllegretto Offline
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Bach prelude in F major from book I well tempered clavier. It's fast and people think it sound hard when I play it, but it's not very hard.

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#1665990 - 04/24/11 08:13 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
mrscostco Offline
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Many years ago I had this exact same need; my teacher at the time directed me to a book called "Applause." They have book 1 and book 2, and there's a matching CD available. I played many of them well into college; they were great little pieces to keep in your pocket for when people say, "Play something!" I enjoyed them very much.

Oops... after writing all that I see that Alfred now publishes a series called "Encore" which has the same idea. I feel kind of old. smile

Both of them appear to have multiple levels of difficulty in the same book; I remember being able to play from mine for several years.
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#1665993 - 04/24/11 08:18 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
jnod Offline
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Clementi Opus 36 Sonatinas? JC Bach Sonatas?
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#1666000 - 04/24/11 08:50 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
pianoloverus Offline
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Edited by pianoloverus (04/24/11 09:11 PM)

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#1666001 - 04/24/11 08:56 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
leemax Offline
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I have Applause book 1. (see mrscostco's note above) Lots of absolutely great stuff in it. Sound impressive, lots of fun to play, lots of basic technique employed. Great book. Highly recommended. I imagine book 2 is just as good but possibly more advanced?
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#1666005 - 04/24/11 09:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: mrscostco]
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: mrscostco
Many years ago I had this exact same need; my teacher at the time directed me to a book called "Applause." They have book 1 and book 2, and there's a matching CD available. I played many of them well into college; they were great little pieces to keep in your pocket for when people say, "Play something!" I enjoyed them very much.

Oops... after writing all that I see that Alfred now publishes a series called "Encore" which has the same idea. I feel kind of old. smile

Both of them appear to have multiple levels of difficulty in the same book; I remember being able to play from mine for several years.


Thank you, I looked at the contents of these Applause books and there seems to be some excellent pieces there as I searched a few on youtube. I think I will download one o two of the pieces off imslp for now and get the book later on, it's always nicer to have a book than lots of sheets!

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#1666011 - 04/24/11 09:30 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: pianoloverus]
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


Thank you for these lovely suggestions, all very nice pieces, not sure if I would be able to manage the one by MacDowell but as you say it might not be as hard as it sounds!

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#1666038 - 04/24/11 10:47 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: leemax]
mrscostco Offline
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Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 29
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By: leemax
I have Applause book 1. (see mrscostco's note above) Lots of absolutely great stuff in it. Sound impressive, lots of fun to play, lots of basic technique employed. Great book. Highly recommended. I imagine book 2 is just as good but possibly more advanced?


I think the book 2 is a little more advanced. I found this list of the pieces in it. Not only were they great to perform, but the pieces themselves were memorable and so easy to listen to and remember. My book has long since fallen apart & disappeared, but I can still hear the pieces in my head.
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#1666109 - 04/25/11 03:18 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
pianojosh23 Offline
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Registered: 11/11/08
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Heller's "Warriors song"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTJI2d1CcI
Mozart Sonata K545 Mvt 1
Lots of Czerny......

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#1666119 - 04/25/11 05:22 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Dave Horne Offline
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You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works. They're not extremely difficult once you memorize them and can look at your left hand.

Amazon - Joplin
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#1666137 - 04/25/11 07:44 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Gould Offline
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Rachmaniov's prelude in c# minor?

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#1666149 - 04/25/11 08:24 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Ralph Offline
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Prokofiev diabolique Op.4 No.4 sounds hard but really isn't all that bad.


il.youtube.com/​watch?v=JztFLBlpA4Q&feature=related
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#1666226 - 04/25/11 11:39 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Dave Horne]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.
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#1666236 - 04/25/11 11:50 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
bennevis Online   content
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Try Grieg's Piano Sonata, or Sibelius's Piano Sonata: they're a lot easier to play than they sound. And few people have ever heard them grin, unlike say, Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy).

For something more abrasive-sounding, try Bartok's Suite Op. 14, again easier than it sounds.
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#1666240 - 04/25/11 11:54 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
....Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy)....

I dunno, to me it's hard even to read through, which most pieces aren't.

I love that piece. If I thought it were easy, I'd be playing it. smile
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#1666249 - 04/25/11 11:58 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
bennevis Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: bennevis
....Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy)....

I dunno, to me it's hard even to read through, which most pieces aren't.

I love that piece. If I thought it were easy, I'd be playing it. smile


I only played it because I didn't know it was hard grin.

Actually, I find it lies well under the fingers, unlike many other pieces I could name, though the notes on the pages can look daunting initially.
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#1666251 - 04/25/11 12:01 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
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A friend plays the piece. Whenever I see him, I demand it. ha
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#1666291 - 04/25/11 01:05 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
Try Grieg's Piano Sonata, or Sibelius's Piano Sonata: they're a lot easier to play than they sound. And few people have ever heard them grin, unlike say, Grieg's Lyric Pieces (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen is also flashy but easy).

For something more abrasive-sounding, try Bartok's Suite Op. 14, again easier than it sounds.


Thank you for these suggestions, going to listen to the sonatas on youtube now smile

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen I actually hadn't heard of this piece until about 2 weeks ago when my mother heard the piece on a 'Royal Wedding Collection' CD that she got free with a newspaper and demanded that I learn to play it.. I took one look at the sheets and filed them away into my ring binder that I have titled "Music I cannot play and probably never will be able to play"!
Though as you say it might not be as hard as it looks but it definitely looks too hard for me.. well my mother would be delighted if I could manage it!

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#1666303 - 04/25/11 01:18 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: AaronL619
....it might not be as hard as it looks but it definitely looks too hard for me.. well my mother would be delighted if I could manage it!

I play Chopin Ballades and stuff, and it looks too hard to me!

BTW: I can never even remember the name of the piece. I always have to ask, wedding day at where??

And I bet other people have the same problem. Maybe the piece would be more popular if he just called it "Wedding Day at Wherever." ha
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#1666362 - 04/25/11 03:15 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Gorm Laben Offline
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Chopin Waltz in A Minor, Posthumous
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#1666391 - 04/25/11 04:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Mr.A Offline
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Not an arpeggio frenzy but a really exceptional piece

Chopin - Prelude op.28 no.4

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#1666431 - 04/25/11 05:27 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


And running for the ice cream truck. laugh
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#1666437 - 04/25/11 05:32 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Damon]
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


And running for the ice cream truck. laugh


We can't deny that ragtime does seem to appeal to children, the Thomas the Tank theme tune was a rag if I remember rightly? also the milky bar kid advert theme!

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#1666440 - 04/25/11 05:39 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
ChopinAddict Offline
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Maybe Liszt's Rhapsody #3 (easier than #2).

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Music is my best friend.


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#1666441 - 04/25/11 05:41 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: pianojosh23]
AaronL619 Offline
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Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 46
Loc: United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: pianojosh23
Heller's "Warriors song"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTJI2d1CcI
Mozart Sonata K545 Mvt 1
Lots of Czerny......


Thank you
I just remembered today that I have Heller's book with the 'Warriors song'. I played through it several times this evening (slowly) it is a rather impressive sounding piece, feels good to play and is not really that difficult! (Once you get over the hardest part of landing on right chords between the big jumps!)

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#1666499 - 04/25/11 07:20 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Bee Dee Offline
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Posts: 88
Loc: Tucson, Arizona
May I suggest an option... take a piece you already know, and learn it well. Memorize it, so you don't need to read the music, and learn to put some feeling into your performance. Why you ask? Simple... a good piece played well will always sound better than a more complex piece played poorly. Let your skills be the showpiece, and your audience will believe they have heard a masterpiece!
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#1666631 - 04/26/11 12:47 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
celegorma Offline
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Posts: 103
I would say mostly Liszt. Very bombastic, wows the general public, but not that hard.

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#1666645 - 04/26/11 01:23 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: celegorma]
Frozenicicles Offline
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Originally Posted By: teccomin
I would say mostly Liszt. Very bombastic, wows the general public, but not that hard.

Are you thinking of the same Liszt that I'm thinking of?

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#1666665 - 04/26/11 03:07 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Frozenicicles]
ll Offline
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Posts: 1101
Originally Posted By: Frozenicicles
Originally Posted By: teccomin
I would say mostly Liszt. Very bombastic, wows the general public, but not that hard.

Are you thinking of the same Liszt that I'm thinking of?


No joke...geez. Some of the suggestions here...

Aaron, some more suggestions are the easier Chopin waltzes and preludes. They do have a lot of musical work to them, but the are very easily technically-wise (for the most part).

Also, look up some Rebikov learning pieces. He has some very simple walztes and childrens songs that are very 'full' sounding but follow a simple pattern. One example I can think of is 'The Clown.'

If Inventions are too steep, the Little Preludes are fun and also very impressive sounding, especially if you can get the ornaments in (which will be good practice for you anyway!).

Essentially, though, I think Bee Dee said it best. Play things you already know, and continue to learn, rather than spend your time on songs you may not want to learn just to impress others.
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Only lowercase. So not even that.
I teach piano and violin.
BM, Violin & Percussion Performance 2009, Piano Pedagogy 2011.

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#1666667 - 04/26/11 03:15 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Samuel1993 Offline
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Loc: United Kingdom
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc. A couple of the Chopin Waltz' sound pretty impressive too, the Posth B minor and A minor Waltzes sound impressive but aren't too taxing, and a couple of the Preludes. To be honest, with none Classical Music lovers, if you play anything they recognize (1st Movement of Moonlight Sonata, Clair De Lune etc), they are impressed.

Oh I forgot to mention, a couple of Scott Joplin's Rag are a little on the easier side. I'd avoid Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer because they're really quite tricky at times, but one of his laster Rag's, the Magnetic Rag is a lot easier. And why not invest in a copy of Bach's "Eight Short Prelude's and Fugue's" (originally for Organ but a Piano Solo edition is around) - they're a lot easier than the Well Tempered Clavier but still sound impressive.

Good Luck! And happy playing smile.


Edited by Samuel1993 (04/26/11 03:25 AM)
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#1666668 - 04/26/11 03:17 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Samuel1993]
ll Offline
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Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc. A couple of the Chopin Waltz' sound pretty impressive too, the Posth B minor and A minor Waltzes sound impressive but aren't too taxing, and a couple of the Preludes. To be honest, with none Classical Music lovers, if you play anything they recognize (1st Movement of Moonlight Sonata, Clair De Lune etc), they are impressed.


The problem is, most of the stuff that non-classical-music lovers like is way above what he's asking for and about.
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I teach piano and violin.
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#1666678 - 04/26/11 04:05 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Samuel1993]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).
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#1666686 - 04/26/11 04:47 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
bennevis Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Maybe the piece would be more popular if he just called it "Wedding Day at Wherever." ha


'Troldhaugen' just means Troll's House in Norwegian, and is the name of Grieg's home near Bergen, beside a fjord. Once you've visited it, you'll always remember the name...

Which reminds me, another fairly easy but impressive-sounding Lyric Piece is 'March of the Trolls' - play it as fast and aggressively as you dare (and don't forget that trolls are ugly and dastardly creatures...) - you'll bring the house down grin.
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#1666691 - 04/26/11 05:17 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Damon]
Dave Horne Offline
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Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


And running for the ice cream truck. laugh


I don't know if one can generalize about a nation's children, but you can usually spot Dutch children even in other countries, they're the ones running around restaurants while their parents are blissfully oblivious.

I once played a wedding ceremony and two children were running around the priest or minister while he was doing his bit. It was truly amazing. The parents of those children did not nothing. I was fuming.

I see the same lack of parental control at outside concerts.
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#1666717 - 04/26/11 07:50 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
'Troldhaugen' just means Troll's House in Norwegian, and is the name of Grieg's home near Bergen, beside a fjord. Once you've visited it, you'll always remember the name...

Which reminds me, another fairly easy but impressive-sounding Lyric Piece is 'March of the Trolls' - play it as fast and aggressively as you dare (and don't forget that trolls are ugly and dastardly creatures...) - you'll bring the house down grin.
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#1666718 - 04/26/11 07:57 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
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My mental picture of a troll in PW is crazy....
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#1666728 - 04/26/11 08:25 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: stores]
liszt85 Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).


When the really really musically uneducated ask me to play, I sometimes do play the fur elise if I'm in no mood to play anything else and they are almost always highly impressed.
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#1666731 - 04/26/11 08:29 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: liszt85]
stores Offline
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Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).


When the really really musically uneducated ask me to play, I sometimes do play the fur elise if I'm in no mood to play anything else and they are almost always highly impressed.


I'm not saying "Elise" isn't a wonderful piece...it is. I'm also not saying that only one who is musically uneducated can appreciate it, but it's soooo played by soooo many I have a hard time believing many would find playing it an impressive feat.
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#1666732 - 04/26/11 08:33 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: stores]
Damon Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).


I think you have the tendency of giving the musically uneducated too much credit.
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#1666797 - 04/26/11 10:34 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
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My experience of the 'musically uneducated' is that if you play something that involves changing hand positions rapidly and a bit of finger dexterity, they'll be impressed. And that includes Fur Elise and (even more so, because of the octaves) Rondo alla turca. But not something like a straightforward Chopin Nocturne or one of his slow waltzes, no matter how expressive it sounds: they don't appreciate tonal or phrasing niceties.

Better to give them K545 instead, if all else fails grin.

I normally play only for my own satisfaction and alone, but if I have an audience (usually when I'm on holiday, and playing on a strange piano), I know exactly how to impress them....
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#1666802 - 04/26/11 10:45 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Stanza Offline
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Chopin's Cmi Prelude is big, short, and not hard to play or memorize.

Also Wm Gillock's book of preludes are all early to mid intermediate, and sound much harder than they are.
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#1666857 - 04/26/11 12:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: AaronL619
I am not a very advanced pianist. I play the piano mainly for the enjoyment of myself not really to impress others. Though occasionally get asked to play for family, friends etc.
So I am asking suggestions for some new pieces that are basically easier to play than they sound that would impress/entertain listeners.

I am moving on to start my grade 6 soon but to give you an idea of my level here are a few pieces I can play:

Cecile Chaminade - Scarf Dance
Erik Satie - Gymnopedie no.1 & Gnossienne no.1
Clementi - sonatinas from op. 36
Gustav Lange - Blumedlied


Thanks


Aaron -

Everyone here is going to have their own idea of what is "easy" and "impressive."

When you are asked to perform for family and friends, simply play whatever you know or are working on at the time. The "Scarf Dance," for example, is an upbeat, appealing piece that people enjoy hearing. The "Gymnopedie" and "Gnossienne" are also very accessible. Most folks aren't too picky. They simply want to hear you play something - anything - for a couple of minutes. Play whatever you can perform well. Believe me - they'll be impressed !!


Edited by carey (04/26/11 12:09 PM)
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#1666865 - 04/26/11 12:29 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
AnonymousInvention Offline
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Excellent replies by all. The only thing I might add is, if you are looking for more contemporary piece, Bela Bartok's Mikrokosmos. It has 6 different books containing increasingly difficult pieces. Also, Debussy's Claire du Lune or some of Prokofiev's Visions Fugitives. One or more of them could add diversity to your repratoire. Lastly, Mozart's Sonata in F maj., second movement, Adagio, is a beautiful piece that's not too difficult and JS Bach's French Suite No. 1 in Dmin, has some potential as well.


Edited by AnonymousInvention (04/26/11 12:30 PM)
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#1666884 - 04/26/11 12:57 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: bennevis]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: bennevis
My experience of the 'musically uneducated' is that if you play something that involves changing hand positions rapidly and a bit of finger dexterity, they'll be impressed....

Well, I am too. ha
Call me musically uneducated. smile

BTW, good breakdown there. We could call it the Liberace effect (even without lifting your hands in the air and smiling at the audience).
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#1666885 - 04/26/11 12:58 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Mark_C Offline
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P.S. I didn't notice anyone yet asking......

Why are you asking about 'impressive'? Why not just things that almost everyone will just really like?



(purposely naive question)
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#1666888 - 04/26/11 01:05 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
P.S. I didn't notice anyone yet asking......

Why are you asking about 'impressive'? Why not just things that almost everyone will just really like?



(purposely naive question)


Because like all the rest of us here, he'd like to be perceived as being better than he really is !! grin
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#1666891 - 04/26/11 01:11 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: carey]
AaronL619 Offline
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Originally Posted By: carey


Because like all the rest of us here, he'd like to be perceived as being better than he really is !! grin


Yes, This is very true!

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#1666919 - 04/26/11 01:47 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: carey]
theJourney Offline
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Originally Posted By: carey
Because like all the rest of us here, he'd like to be perceived as being better than he really is !! grin

thumb That was the best post of the day!

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#1667039 - 04/26/11 05:22 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
chercherchopin Offline
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I'm surprised nobody recommended anything by Burgmueller yet. Although his Opus 100 is most familiar, there are also attractive pieces in Op. 105 and Op. 109 that are only a bit more challenging.

A few more suggestions come to mind for a striving intermediate player who wants to 'impress' with something that sounds more difficult than it is. Among the many 19th century composers who faded into obscurity are Auguste Durand (his Waltz Op. 83 has immediate appeal) and Hugo Reinhold, who wrote an attractive Impromptu in C-sharp minor.

Of the suitable compositions by Chopin, an offbeat choice would be his Polonaise Militaire. The tune is widely recognized, and I don't think it presents much difficulty at all provided one can reach an octave comfortably.
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#1667184 - 04/26/11 10:37 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Canonie Offline
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maybe that's a different military polonaise. The one I heard last night looked pretty hard to me!
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#1667201 - 04/26/11 11:40 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Canonie]
chercherchopin Offline
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I don't think there's more than one (unless it's by a different Chopin -- Kate, maybe? smile )

Anyway, your observation might confirm that the piece sounds more difficult than it is!
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#1667252 - 04/27/11 01:47 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
btb Offline
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Hi Aaron,

Why not please your Mum by at least having a bash at the first page of Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen Opus 65, no. 6.

Here’s the first page, if you’d like to give it a stab.

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#1667270 - 04/27/11 03:13 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: btb]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: btb
Hi Aaron,

Why not please your Mum by at least having a bash at the first page of Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen Opus 65, no. 6.

Here’s the first page, if you’d like to give it a stab.



Unfortunately, it gets somewhat more difficult after the first page. grin I think the OP is looking for something a tad easier that still sounds impressive.
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#1667271 - 04/27/11 03:15 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: stores]
Frozenicicles Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).

My grandma heard me play a Chopin waltz, then my cousin play Richard Clayderman. Guess who she thought played better?? (No offense to my grandma...RIP frown )

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#1667273 - 04/27/11 03:24 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
carey Offline
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Aaron -

Have you ever played the Solfegietto by C.P.E. Bach???

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czQIH6RP1EY&feature=related

Not as difficult as it sounds - and fun to play !!
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#1667320 - 04/27/11 07:46 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: btb]
AaronL619 Offline
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Originally Posted By: btb
Hi Aaron,

Why not please your Mum by at least having a bash at the first page of Grieg’s Wedding Day at Troldhaugen Opus 65, no. 6.

Here’s the first page, if you’d like to give it a stab.



I have tried playing this, the first page (and the second page) are very manageable, but the rest seems to get a bit more difficult though the easier parts repeat throughout. I managed to play through most parts of it (very slowly)

I am not very good at determining whether some pieces of music are too difficult for me or whether it just something that will improve with practice..


Edited by AaronL619 (04/27/11 07:47 AM)

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#1667360 - 04/27/11 09:27 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Stanza Offline
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Speaking of Bach, there is this one:

http://www.waltercosand.com/CosandScores/Composers%20A-D/Bach,%20J.%20S./Transcriptions/Bach-Hill__Toccata%2526Fugue_BWV565.pdf

A nice piano transcription of the famous Bach toccata (& fugue) in Dmi. Familiar, sounds impressive and not as hard as it sounds. Also a lot of fun to play on a digital piano with a pipe organ voice.
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#1667371 - 04/27/11 09:55 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
AaronL619 Offline
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Stanza,
Thank you for this nice suggestion.

I actually have a very old electric organ upstairs that my mother bought way back when she was a teenager in the 70s.. though unfortunately it is in need of repair as it makes some dodgy noises.. I'm always afraid to switch it on in case it explodes or something smirk

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#1667372 - 04/27/11 10:07 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: stores]
Samuel1993 Offline
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Originally Posted By: stores
Originally Posted By: Samuel1993
There's the obvious one's such as Beethoven's 'Fur Elise', Mozart's Alla Turca etc.


Impressive? I find it hard to believe that even the musically uneducated find either impressive, since it seems every other kid on the block plays one or the other (or both).


Trust me, they do. You could play Chopin's Piano Sonata or Rach's 3rd and they wouldn't give a flying hoot. The second you play something they recognize (i.e Fur Elise, Clair De Lune) they love it. In fact, you're lucky for them to find them exciting, most none Classical Music Lovers are only impressed if you can play a current Mainstream Hit (Lady Gaga, Rihanna etc).
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#1667375 - 04/27/11 10:12 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
gooddog Offline
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I played Grieg's Wedding Day at Troldhaugen a billion years ago. I was probably 15 and I'd guess I was playing grade 7 or 8 at that time. It's really not that hard if you are comfortable playing alternating LH/RH notes. (I learned that technique with this piece).
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#1667487 - 04/27/11 01:52 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
David T Offline
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There are a lot of pieces that rely on beautiful playing, not technique, to impress.

There are several quite easy Chopin mazurkas that are very expressive.
I've gone through IMSLP looking for things like lullabies and elegies, other slow forms, and have found some beautiful pieces.
Grieg's Holborne Suite has several nice movements; the sarabande is beautiful and easy.
As others have said, Joplin is a sure crowd-pleaser, but you do have to get it memorized.

Good luck.
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#1667633 - 04/27/11 07:16 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: David T]
carey Offline
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Originally Posted By: David T
There are a lot of pieces that rely on beautiful playing, not technique, to impress.

There are several quite easy Chopin mazurkas that are very expressive.
I've gone through IMSLP looking for things like lullabies and elegies, other slow forms, and have found some beautiful pieces.
Grieg's Holborne Suite has several nice movements; the sarabande is beautiful and easy.
As others have said, Joplin is a sure crowd-pleaser, but you do have to get it memorized.

Good luck.


Actually its "Holberg" not "Holborne" - and, yes, it is quite nice.
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#1667686 - 04/27/11 09:24 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Sean-Patrick Offline
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Well, I would suggest:
Grieg: March of the Trolls
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfbw2Nnf3dY
Very, very manageable, and sounds great. Very impressive when played well.
Chopin: Prelude No. 3 in G
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZAt3cqDyJ4
A little more difficult, but again manageable, the left hand makes great practice as it requires fast playing, but really very east broken down. Its just a pity this piece is so short...
Debussy: Le Petit Negre
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEM0t3vlGjQ
Ah, such a cute piece of music, and very impressive when well played. Technically a cinch, I think, it just relies on a playful interpretation.
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody 8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVqaf56b3jY
My own favorite Hungarian Rhapsody, and by a country mile one of the, it not THE easiest, though still rather challenging, without being too difficult. Very pretty piece of music, and the ending always raises the roof. smile


EDIT: Just noticed the OP said Grade 6, misread. That HR8 is far too difficult in that case.


Edited by Sean-Patrick (04/27/11 09:26 PM)

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#1667727 - 04/27/11 11:29 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
ll Offline
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Originally Posted By: AaronL619
So I am asking suggestions for some new pieces that are basically easier to play than they sound that would impress/entertain listeners.

I am moving on to start my grade 6 soon but to give you an idea of my level here are a few pieces I can play:


I'm wondering whether people remember what the actual point of the suggestions was...
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#1668841 - 04/30/11 01:25 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
beechcraft409 Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
You'll always have a crowd around the piano when you start playing Scott Joplin's works.....

Especially little kids. smile

Y'all ever notice? It seems they immediately stop whatever they're doing and start smiling, laughing, and especially dancing.


Whenever I play at my cousin's house, it seems her son always wants to play a duet. And by a duet I mean he sits on the bench next to me smacking random keys. Gotta love two year-olds haha
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#1668843 - 04/30/11 01:42 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
dsch Offline
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Nobody has yet mentioned Debussy's Dr Gradus ad Parnassus from Children's Corner. It's fantastic, impressive, and easy.

Also,

The first movement from Haydn Piano Sonata No.46.
Beethoven Sonata Op. 10 No. 5.
Andante Favori
Chopin Op. 25 No.1 is always winning. It's not too hard. Sure sounds like it is, though.

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#1669022 - 04/30/11 02:07 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
asiantraveller101 Offline
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Perhaps MacDowell Op.39? Some are easier than others. Showy and manageable for intermediate players. grin
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#1672273 - 05/05/11 10:00 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Frozenicicles]
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I think almost anything memorized tends to impress people. For something super-easy but lovely, there's the first piece I ever memorized, Beethoven's little La Marmotte. It's also super-short--nice for if people want to hear you play but don't really want to listen for very long. This is in "The Joy of Beethoven" book, a collection that also has Für Elise and some other nice manageable pieces, up to intermediate. And I think only piano insiders (maybe people who've heard too many student recitals?) might be jaded with Fur Elise, others will like to hear it, including folks like me who've played it themselves.

Another that occurs to me if you want something fast is the Wild Rider from Schumann's Kinderszenen.
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#1672285 - 05/05/11 10:52 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: jdw]
Mark_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: jdw
I think almost anything memorized tends to impress people.....

Great point. I think it's true, when it comes to non-musician audiences -- and in fact, even sometimes musician audiences, especially if they're musicians who have some trouble memorizing.
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#1672330 - 05/06/11 01:18 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Mark_C]
Clayton Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: jdw
I think almost anything memorized tends to impress people.....

Great point. I think it's true, when it comes to non-musician audiences -- and in fact, even sometimes musician audiences, especially if they're musicians who have some trouble memorizing.


I used to memorize every single piece I played... until I got my first job. Now, I just don't have the time. It's pretty frustrating now to open a book and play for people and have them fairly obviously shrug their shoulders and walk off. If I had played the same piece from memory twice as fast and missed every other note they would have been clapping up and down like a wind-up monkey.

Clayton -
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#1672363 - 05/06/11 04:40 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Clayton]
kevinb Offline
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Originally Posted By: Clayton
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: jdw
I think almost anything memorized tends to impress people.....

Great point. I think it's true, when it comes to non-musician audiences -- and in fact, even sometimes musician audiences, especially if they're musicians who have some trouble memorizing.


I used to memorize every single piece I played... until I got my first job. Now, I just don't have the time. It's pretty frustrating now to open a book and play for people and have them fairly obviously shrug their shoulders and walk off. If I had played the same piece from memory twice as fast and missed every other note they would have been clapping up and down like a wind-up monkey.



Then I suppose the solution is to learn to 'fake it' when playing on sight. I do a fair bit of accompanying, and that's what I have to do. By 'fake it' I mean accepting a fair number of errors which, hopefully, aren't too obvious, missing out notes that you can't get a finger on to in time, and learning how to improvise a bit when you completely lose the thread.

I've been playing the piano for 30-odd years, but I only started learning to sight-read a few years ago, when I realized that my ageing memory was no longer at all reliable. If you have to play unfamiliar music at short notice, I think that the ability to fake it is pretty helpful.

As to the original question, if you're looking for pieces at around grade 6 which punch above their weight, I'd recommend the following:

Granados -- Valse Poetico no. 6
Albeniz -- Tango (middle section is a bit fiddly)
Liszt -- Consolation #1
Chopin -- Nocture in Eb (perhaps a bit harder than gr. 6)

Actually, you can buy huge anthologies of accessible pieces of around this standard, like the Hal Leonard "The Romantic Era" which has a hundred-odd pieces in.

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#1676775 - 05/13/11 06:42 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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I would rather advice to play Chopin Prelude No. 4 - it is very easy and very touching...

Beethoven 14th Sonata 1st part

Waltz in E-moll Griboedov:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXwg0NeXyCw
(not in such a hurry up tempo though of course)

But the most impressive one is
J. S. Bach - Prelude and Fugue n.2 in C Minor BWV 847 (WTC I)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvmCUx7NdLg

It has eternity in it and is rather easy to play.
I play it and enjoy it and feel the time itself in every sound of it! Try it and You will never regret!
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#1676779 - 05/13/11 06:52 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Also very romantic but not hard to play:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ClDFmFmr0k

Scriabin Etude Op.8 No.12

Also very easy and touching the heart is Mozart Fantasia in D Minor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8P7-1IzhwU
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#1677061 - 05/13/11 03:47 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: MarianneAlkonost]
Butters109 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/12/09
Posts: 207
Originally Posted By: MarianneAlkonost
Also very romantic but not hard to play:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ClDFmFmr0k

Scriabin Etude Op.8 No.12

Also very easy and touching the heart is Mozart Fantasia in D Minor
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8P7-1IzhwU


Is this a joke?

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#1677355 - 05/14/11 04:02 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Why do you think it is a joke?

Also very touching and easy to play:

Scriabin Preludes Op.11 - No.12
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnv8VbuWNdE

and

Scriabin Preludes Op.11 - No.10
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R4P3VHGego
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#1677361 - 05/14/11 04:34 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: MarianneAlkonost]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: MarianneAlkonost
Why do you think it is a joke?....

Are you joking now? ha

But seriously: The Scriabin D# minor Etude is NOT "easy." It's very, very hard. So I wasn't surprised at the post that wondered if you were serious.

P.S. I wouldn't say the Mozart D minor Fantasia is "very easy" either, nor any other Mozart. But I know that a lot of people seem to think he is, and at least on the Mozart I know what you mean. But about the Scriabin etude, I cannot imagine why you would say it's easy....
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#1677368 - 05/14/11 04:56 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
May be because for the one who falls in love with some piece of music and regards it as something sacred - from that moment and on there is nothing hard... as long as the dream to perform it is alive ;-)
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#1677375 - 05/14/11 05:14 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: MarianneAlkonost]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19851
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: MarianneAlkonost
May be because for the one who falls in love with some piece of music and regards it as something sacred - from that moment and on there is nothing hard... as long as the dream to perform it is alive ;-)

Are you joking? ha
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#1677398 - 05/14/11 06:46 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
chercherchopin Offline
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Registered: 04/25/11
Posts: 550
Loc: Dystopia (but not Dystonia!)
Learn what you love is a nice maxim for the musician, but it doesn't have much (if anything) to with pleasing a casual listener -- and I don't think it relates at all to the topic of listing 'impressive but not difficult piano pieces'.

If Scriabin's Op. 8 No. 12 belonged on that list, there would be no need for such a list. Everything in the entire repertoire would automatically fit the bill!
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#1677410 - 05/14/11 07:18 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Ok! I answered with my heart, and heart is not always the good adviser.

Than I guess the answer is Prelude in C Major by J.S. Bach - easy and eternal, touching every soul...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KQW2YnCUrE

If there were a contest for the most easy and the most impressive at the same time it would definitely win!


Edited by MarianneAlkonost (05/14/11 07:19 AM)
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#1677448 - 05/14/11 09:00 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
Jolteon Offline
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Registered: 04/11/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Perth, Australia


Heller's Melodious Etude #15 (Op.45, No.15 "Warrior's song") is relatively easy, and it's loud and dramatic, which most people seem to think as impressive.
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#1677485 - 05/14/11 10:30 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: MarianneAlkonost]
carey Offline
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Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6426
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: MarianneAlkonost
Ok! I answered with my heart, and heart is not always the good adviser.

Than I guess the answer is Prelude in C Major by J.S. Bach - easy and eternal, touching every soul...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KQW2YnCUrE

If there were a contest for the most easy and the most impressive at the same time it would definitely win!


Good choice !!!
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#1677490 - 05/14/11 10:34 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Jolteon]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6426
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Jolteon


Heller's Melodious Etude #15 (Op.45, No.15 "Warrior's song") is relatively easy, and it's loud and dramatic, which most people seem to think as impressive.


This is a new one to me - thanks for sharing it !!
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#1677497 - 05/14/11 10:56 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: carey]
MarianneAlkonost Offline
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Registered: 04/21/09
Posts: 122
Loc: Russia, Saint-Petersburg
Thank you! smile
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#1686584 - 05/29/11 02:23 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: MarianneAlkonost]
Drunk3nFist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 640
Loc: London
Scriabin is not hard to play? You must be kidding me.
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#1686723 - 05/29/11 08:13 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: Drunk3nFist]
Amant Offline
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Registered: 06/29/07
Posts: 310
Loc: Southwest
Waller's Jitterbug Waltz
Ellington's Sophisticated Lady

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#1686919 - 05/30/11 07:29 AM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
debrucey Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I think you can make simple music look harder simply by the way you play it. My hands are naturally quite flamboyant when I play, and if I exaggerate this it can seem to the unfamiliar like I'm doing more than I actually am.

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#1687283 - 05/30/11 06:32 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: AaronL619]
TreeHuggerTom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 16
The Chopin Raindrop Prelude is pretty easy if you are at a grade 6 standard. Its fairly familiar to most people and has a good contrast of light and dark sounding themes.

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#1708466 - 07/06/11 01:51 PM Re: Impressive but not difficult piano pieces? [Re: TreeHuggerTom]
daoc2009 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 76
Loc: UK
Scriabin Prelude op 37 no 1Scriabin Album Leaf op 45 no 1
Bach Sicillene from Organ Concerto in D Minor op 3 no 11
the one Volodos plays.
The most accessible Rachmaninioff piece is probably Moment Musicaux op 16 no 3 (was grade 8 in 2009)
If you can reach the chords its not too bad. All the rest of Rachmaninoff is way harder.

in my list, the longest is like 3 pages, technicaly accessible to a grade 6 nothing to hard, all though to play them in the right style you need quite mature emotionally to "feel" the music. I would say those pieces are grade 8 ish with the Bach being technically quite straight forward.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhWGINMYrSU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaFBVfwyoiY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2I26LJnIhQA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDVprKqqB8A

The Rachmaninoff you need to be able to reach a good tenth espically, which I assume most adults can. I can do a good 11th from the G below middle C to the C above middle C with left hand with notes inbetween.
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