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#1860014 - 03/11/12 05:16 PM Piano for Dinner
jesseoffy Offline
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Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
A friend offered me to play piano at her restaurant, but most of the pieces I know are show/performance pieces (aka loud and exciting). I know a few Chopin preludes, but do any of you have recommendations (just from knowledge or from experience) for pieces that would be work in such a situation - preferably piece that aren't too difficult to learn in a week or so?
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#1860020 - 03/11/12 05:22 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5217
Loc: Europe
Satie comes to mind immediately! A few well known works of Bach might also do the trick (the C major prelude comes to mind). The usual 'fur elise' and perhaps a few other works...

Then perhaps some transcription of jazz pieces? Or some tangos to go along?

Perhaps it would be worth posting in the non classical forum, since while you have in mind classical music, a restaurant is not always fit for 'heavy classical music'.
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#1860021 - 03/11/12 05:22 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19646
Loc: New York
I think you should play your usual pieces but softer. grin
I've been in situations like that, and it's sort of what I did. I mainly played softer/lighter repertoire, but did do some "loud/exciting" pieces, only quieter and mellower.

Unless you're very comfortable with learning new stuff to play in public in just a week, which wouldn't seem like a great idea for most people.

P.S. Look for some people to have fun with the linguistics of "piano for dinner." ha
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#1860037 - 03/11/12 05:40 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
jesseoffy Offline
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Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
Mark_C: yeah, I'm considering it, but Rachmaninov's Prelude No. 2 just won't sound so great with the 4-stave part played at p. laugh I'll keep looking through older stuff I've played - I'm jumping on this mainly since it's such a great opportunity to practice in front of people, even if they're not really paying attention all the time.
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#1860038 - 03/11/12 05:40 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
dsch Offline
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Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 325
Loc: florida
Schubert impromptus or moments musicaux would be nice for dinner. Softly.

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#1860042 - 03/11/12 05:49 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
I play for a Sunday brunch every once in awhile, and the hotel management pretty much said 'play whatever you want', which was nice. I tend to play a mix of big band favorites, movie themes, classic stuff like the Beatles, Billy Joel, Simon and Garfunkel, etc, plus some well-known or 'easy listening' classical music.

Some examples of classical music I've used are Moonlight sonata, the slow movement from the Pathétique, Mendelssohn songs without words, Chopin preludes and nocturnes, Field nocturnes, Schubert moments musicaux, Schumann's Kinderzenen and some Bach preludes (I decided the fugues might cause indigestion lol).

As long as you think "background music" and not "concert performance", you should be fine.

Enjoy! I love restaurant gigs, because it's like getting paid for fooling around on the piano wink.

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#1860043 - 03/11/12 05:51 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Mark_C Online   content
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19646
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JesseOffy
Mark_C: yeah, I'm considering it, but Rachmaninov's Prelude No. 2 just won't sound so great with the 4-stave part played at p. laugh

Sure it will!!
IMO that's a fine piece to play for this, and a very OK way to do it.

Quote:
....even if they're not really paying attention all the time.

Right -- be ready for them to be seeming to pay almost no attention. And it's no reflection on you.

For me that was the hardest part about such things: the idea that it seemed to hardly matter.
It does, but not in the way we usually would like.

For that reason, I both loved and hated such gigs. smile
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#1860045 - 03/11/12 05:54 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
jesseoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
Thanks LadyChen. I love "fooling around on the piano." laugh
Getting a good amount of sheet music from your suggestions and IMSLP. Should suffice for a Sunday afternoon sight-reading session.
Edit - thanks for the heads up, Mark. Just a speculation, but wouldn't it make the playing easier if you feel nobody is watching/caring about it?


Edited by JesseOffy (03/11/12 05:55 PM)
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#1860046 - 03/11/12 05:59 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3504
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Piano for dinner? Nah, too much fiber, and the strings get caught in my teeth...











(sorry)

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#1860060 - 03/11/12 06:18 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19646
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: JesseOffy
....wouldn't it make the playing easier if you feel nobody is watching/caring about it?

Sort of, yes.
Spiritually, maybe not. smile

I think it takes some getting used to.
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#1860066 - 03/11/12 06:34 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Dave Horne Offline
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Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
The genre is music to be ignored by. smile

I look at as practice time.
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#1860083 - 03/11/12 07:32 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: LadyChen]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6205
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: LadyChen
Some examples of classical music I've used are Moonlight sonata, the slow movement from the Pathétique, Mendelssohn songs without words, Chopin preludes and nocturnes, Field nocturnes, Schubert moments musicaux, Schumann's Kinderzenen and some Bach preludes (I decided the fugues might cause indigestion lol).


Perfect (although I'd throw in a fugue or two just for the sheer fun of it......) grin
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#1860102 - 03/11/12 08:29 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
wr Offline
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Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7754
There is a ton of classical easy-listening music by some of the less well-known Romantics like Kirchner, Heller, and probably Rhineberger. And some early Scriabin might be nice, as well as much of Liadov. Chaminade has some useable stuff, like the old drawing-room classic, Scarf Dance.

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#1860106 - 03/11/12 08:34 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Orange Soda King Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Forlane from Le Tombeau de Couperin (Ravel). laugh laugh laugh

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#1860113 - 03/11/12 08:43 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
BruceD Offline
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Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 17829
Loc: Victoria, BC
Be prepared, also, to play some popular standards, and don't be surprised if a customer asks : "Play 'Misty' for me!" "Do you know 'Memory' from Cats?" or "Can't you play some jazz?"

Regards,
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#1860192 - 03/11/12 10:50 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: BruceD]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19646
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: BruceD
Be prepared, also, to play some popular standards, and don't be surprised if a customer asks : "Play 'Misty' for me!" "Do you know 'Memory' from Cats?" or "Can't you play some jazz?"

.....and also be prepared to say (if necessary), "Sorry, that's not the kind of stuff I play" -- with a smile of course. grin

When I did my few gigs of that sort, I had to say this a fair amount. Sometimes I was able to say, "No, but how about if I play [so-and-so]" if I could play some other thing, even something classical, that was sort of along the same lines of what the person asked for -- and that's better than just saying no. (Somewhat.) smile
But the main thing is to say it pleasantly and with interest in what the person asked (even if feigned). ha
If you can do that, it's all good.
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1860229 - 03/12/12 12:20 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: Mark_C]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: Mark_C


When I did my few gigs of that sort, I had to say this a fair amount. Sometimes I was able to say, "No, but how about if I play [so-and-so]" if I could play some other thing, even something classical, that was sort of along the same lines of what the person asked for -- and that's better than just saying no.


Yes -- this is a great response -- it's what all my jazz mentors told me to do in this situation.

Add "Moon River" to the frequently-requested-songs-that-you-hate-playing list.

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#1860305 - 03/12/12 04:58 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5275
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
A friend offered me to play piano at her restaurant, but most of the pieces I know are show/performance pieces (aka loud and exciting).

What exactly does this mean? You're being paid to perform or because your friend has a piano at her restaurant, it would be great if you would play ... for free?
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#1860311 - 03/12/12 06:04 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
For in-fill “munchies” music (what a ghastly expression) while the honoured guests are slopping their soup ... I’d enjoy myself at the jolly Olde Piano playing George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter ... any classical stuff would get stuck in the craw.

I can only hope that one of those moneyed slurp-ers finds a fly in his soup.

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#1860353 - 03/12/12 09:17 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Piano*Dad Offline
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
My son occasionally plays at a local restaurant that has one seating per night, and a half hour of wine/music beforehand. Grieg's Lyric Pieces offers a set of easily learned stuff that is perfectly appropriate for cocktail time before the seating. Most of them can be learned in a day or less. Heck, if you're good, they're sight reading material.
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#1860361 - 03/12/12 09:41 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10349
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
.... Oh, BTW, when I saw the thread title I really wondered whether or not the OP would be a large picture of someone sitting in front of a shiny black piano, fork and knife in hand, ready to dig in! grin
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#1860406 - 03/12/12 11:14 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: Dave Horne]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Dave Horne
The genre is music to be ignored by. smile

I look at as practice time.


1+
One of the worst eating experiences (wedding) I recall is eating what was supposed to be a nice, leisurely meal and the music was LOUD and at a very fast tempo. Everyone at my table found themselves eating quickly and munching to the rhythm of the music- like we were marching or something! Very unnerving at the time, although quite funny in hindsight. Keep it low key and soothing, I say.
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#1860411 - 03/12/12 11:20 AM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Pianolance Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 1192
Loc: Nashville, TN
I have heard of the "wooden" diet. Eat one chunk of "wood" and you "wooden" want anything else. Very filling, I guess.
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#1860482 - 03/12/12 01:48 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
A "cocktail pianist" gave a presentation to our music club recently. He said when he gets special requests for something he doesn't know, he says "I don't know that one. Can you hum a few bars?" And it turns out they don't know it either.

He plays "by ear" and improvises. He demonstrated how he might play the Willie Nelson/Patsy Cline tune "Crazy". He plays the notes for "cra-zy" (the familiar part), then does a lot of improvising, now and then returns to familiar "cra-zy", back to improvising. People tell him how great it was to hear the tune, when in fact he only played a small familiar section, rest improv.

This post probably will not be helpful to you since you likely play using sheet music. But just thought I'd mention it.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (03/12/12 02:00 PM)
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And straightaway all her polka dots
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#1860560 - 03/12/12 05:04 PM Re: Piano for Dinner [Re: jesseoffy]
jesseoffy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/16/10
Posts: 240
Quote:
.... Oh, BTW, when I saw the thread title I really wondered whether or not the OP would be a large picture of someone sitting in front of a shiny black piano, fork and knife in hand, ready to dig in!

hahaha. Not on this occasion . . . but sometimes. . . (piano vampire).

Quote:
A friend offered me to play piano at her restaurant, but most of the pieces I know are show/performance pieces (aka loud and exciting).

What exactly does this mean? You're being paid to perform or because your friend has a piano at her restaurant, it would be great if you would play ... for free?

Well, she offered it and her mom supported it, since they don't have any pianists right now (it's a fri/sat evening thing). Not really sure whether charity or paid, but I'd be happy doing either - I'm not a stickler when it comes to playing piano, and they offered it, didn't order it upon me.
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