A few months ago, I came up with the idea of trying to compile a chronological Spotify playlist of classical piano works, choosing at least one piece per year starting from the earliest days of the instrumental through recent years. I thought it would be neat to hear how the instrument has evolved over its long history, and how the pieces fit within the context of contemporaneous compositions.
After spending more time on this than I care to admit, I have finally completed my project, and since I believe others might find it interesting, I thought I'd share it here.
Here's the link: Chronology of the Piano: 1770-1970
I broke this mammoth list down to a few eras: Classical
, Early Romantic
, Late Romantic
, Early Modern
, Late Modern
A few notes:
These are all piano-only recordings. Who needs other, lesser instruments muddying up the picture?
Spotify titling is pretty abysmal for classical music, so it's not always clear what's playing. If you want a list of the works and the years they represent, it can be found here.
The years of composition were taken from allmusic.com, and seem to be the year the composer is generally thought to have started the composition. I would take the dates as approximations, though.
I tried to select at least one substantial composition from each year, but some years seemed to have little of import, so I just chose whatever I liked. I don't claim to have any deep knowledge of the piano literature; in fact, this was intended as a learning experience for me, and I must say I learned a lot!
Anyway, I hope the readers of this message board will find this interesting. Many of these works are very familiar to us all, but I came across a few hidden gems during my project, so I hope there's enough variety to make it interesting.