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#455123 - 05/01/08 06:36 AM Wow Pieces
Kim88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 9
Loc: New Zealand
Does anyone have any ideas about "wow" pieces? Piano pieces that people enjoy listening too and are challenging to play? Oh, and make people say 'wow'

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#455124 - 05/01/08 06:41 AM Re: Wow Pieces
kyliec Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 77
Chopin Etudes
Flight of the bumblebee
much of Lizst's piano works
Fats wallet finger breaker...


Kylie

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#455125 - 05/01/08 08:45 AM Re: Wow Pieces
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1834
Loc: Connecticut
Why not wow them with something they've probably never heard before?

Felix Blumenfeld's Impromptu in G flat, Op.13 No.2 is 2 minutes of some of the most gorgeous music ever written.

I sent a recording to a friend, and his response was, "The music is very strong. It just swoops over you like a storm and leaves you behind dazzled."

Another friend wrote, "It's one of those pieces that leaves me sitting motionlessly in awe, jaw dropped open and needing to catch my breath upon its ending."

Needless to say, the recording wasn't of me.

I've never found a commercial source for the score, but you can download the free public domain sheets at piano.ru.

Blumenfeld Impromptu Op.13 No.2

As for difficulty, try playing a series of four-note chords legato, cantabile, and allegro. The interlocking triplets in the second half of the piece make it shimmer.


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#455126 - 05/01/08 08:48 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Fleeting Visions Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Champaign, IL
You might also like the Blumenfeld LH etude.
_________________________
Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon

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#455127 - 05/01/08 08:59 AM Re: Wow Pieces
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1834
Loc: Connecticut
 Quote:
Originally posted by dnephi:
You might also like the Blumenfeld LH etude. [/b]
When I looked through the Blumenfeld Etudes, that was the only one that looked fairly easy.

Then I realized it was for the left hand alone.


Mel
_________________________
My Recordings

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. What you will receive in return varies. But it really has no connection with what you give. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn

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#455128 - 05/01/08 09:39 AM Re: Wow Pieces
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Oh/Fla
I don't know how "challenging" you want a "wow" piece, but
this is great fun to play and listen to: Percy Grainger's "In Dahomey"
also known as "Cakewalk Smasher".

You can listen to a bit of it here:
http://www.amazon.com/Percy-Grainger-Com...ks_all_1#disc_1
It's #19 on disk 1,

Have Fun!

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#455129 - 05/01/08 10:46 AM Re: Wow Pieces
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22476
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
Fats wallet finger breaker...
Ah, yes, Fats Wallet, the world's richest piano player!
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Semipro Tech

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#455130 - 05/01/08 11:30 AM Re: Wow Pieces
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
Check out The Ritual Fire Dance by DeFalla - Rubinstein plays it well (though perhaps a bit showy) at http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wj6_5qWZCDY
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#455131 - 05/01/08 11:32 AM Re: Wow Pieces
BWV 1080 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/07
Posts: 50
The Ligeti Etudes - particularly Book 1 # 1, & book 2 nos 13 & 14

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#455132 - 05/01/08 11:41 AM Re: Wow Pieces
8ude Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 2050
Listening to the Grainger selection that PlayLiszt posted reminded me of La Bamboula, by Gottschalk - another good piece that gets a good effect.
_________________________
What you are is an accident of birth. What I am, I am through my own efforts. There have been a thousand princes and there will be a thousand more. There is one Beethoven.

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#455133 - 05/01/08 12:21 PM Re: Wow Pieces
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
How about Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit - Scarbo?

Here's a video of Kuznetsov playing it: http://youtube.com/watch?v=CNYcgguPmXw&feature=related. I can't believe anyone can even play it. If you can come close to this I would say WOW!!
_________________________
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#455134 - 05/01/08 12:45 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5793
Loc: Europe
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#455135 - 05/01/08 12:47 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
 Quote:
Originally posted by 8ude:
Listening to the Grainger selection that PlayLiszt posted reminded me of La Bamboula, by Gottschalk - another good piece that gets a good effect. [/b]
Gottschalk has some amazing pieces that are almost pure grandstanding and a joy to play (if you can surpass some of his technical hurdles). Grainger was another finger buster, in my opinion, and some of his pieces are devilishly difficult.
Whenever I feel like being a showoff, I whip out the Gottschalk, though..

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#455136 - 05/01/08 01:55 PM Re: Wow Pieces
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Oh/Fla
Nikolas[/b] : Messiaen: Vingt Regards - No. 6, Par lui tout a ete fait piano

Nikolas, believe me, I really don't want to start a war...
...but the first part of what KIm88 said was: Piano pieces that people enjoy listening to. Do you think perhaps that Messiaen piece isn't a bit too arcane to satisfy that requirement for most people?

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#455137 - 05/01/08 03:29 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Cheeto717 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 734
Loc: Pennsylvania
hey mel, you think you could send me a recording of that Blumenfeld Impromptu?
_________________________
Working On:
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Beethoven: Op. 26
Brahms: Op. 120
Chopin: Op. 10

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#455138 - 05/01/08 03:41 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5793
Loc: Europe
 Quote:
Originally posted by playliszt:
Nikolas[/b] : Messiaen: Vingt Regards - No. 6, Par lui tout a ete fait piano

Nikolas, believe me, I really don't want to start a war...
...but the first part of what KIm88 said was: Piano pieces that people enjoy listening to. Do you think perhaps that Messiaen piece isn't a bit too arcane to satisfy that requirement for most people? [/b]
Heh...

No war intended either. Nor I wanted to start one.

Explanation is simple: I didn't notice THAT part of the OP's post! \:D

But actually I find it extremely attractive. And I'm also NOT the average joe of music... :-/

I still think that totally noobs of music would find this stunning!

It's not the same but I know that people who knew NOTHING about music found the Prokofiev Op. 11 (tocatta) stunning! It's not the same, I repeat that. I'm just saying that some times people with NO education (missing classical education), are more used to stuff that we, the educated ones, find difficult.

But I agree. Definately not an easy piece, and I'm sorry for my post, above. Didn't notice the second part of the question. \:\)
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#455139 - 05/01/08 03:49 PM Re: Wow Pieces
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
A different input here...

Lots of pieces -

Lots of pianists -

can do the WOW factor.

I'd rather hear a sensitive emotional piece that is played well. One that can move me to that distant place of peace or stir me to my inner soul. One that gets me in touch with the composer and pianist's inner emotions

Fast, brilliant, showy is nice, but there is a nicer place to be with so many more pieces.


Quiet,
_________________________
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

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#455140 - 05/01/08 05:44 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Kim88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 9
Loc: New Zealand
I totally agree with you lilylady, I absolutely love pieces like that. But there are some pieces that do both.

Liebestraume by Liszt is an amazing piece of music that can really move people - well I know it moves me. But it also has some runs in it which are tricky and do sound impressive.

But yeah, I know what you mean, pieces that really move you are the best ones to play

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#455141 - 05/01/08 06:02 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Simon Blundell Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/06
Posts: 72
Loc: Liverpool, England
How about Hungarian rhapsody 2 by Lizst?

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#455142 - 05/01/08 06:19 PM Re: Wow Pieces
playerpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 83
Loc: New Jersey
I always get the most stunned-looking faces after playing Solfegietto, by C.P.E. Bach. I learned it years ago and am still playing it. It looks and sounds a lot more complicated than it really is.

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#455143 - 05/01/08 06:30 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mr. K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Louisville, KY
Kim, my favorite "wow"/waves-of-Lisztian-legato-arpeggios type pieces are Chopin's Etude in C Minor Op. 25 No. 12, Liszt's Concert Etude No. 3 in Db ("Un Sospiro"), Scriabin's Etude in C# Minor Op. 42 No. 5., and Scriabin's Etude in D# Minor Op. 8 No. 12.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1WD0U8-rcRE

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Wzha-5kcXcs&feature=related

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Xkmnx75uwfI

http://youtube.com/watch?v=VfXjk7GkCF8

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#455144 - 05/01/08 06:31 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mr. K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Louisville, KY
Hey, Solfeggietto! That's a cool one too!

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#455145 - 05/01/08 06:43 PM Re: Wow Pieces
tejas88keys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 11
Loc: dallas
I would add Dr Gradus ad Parnassum by Debussy, Toccata by Khatchaturian, both relatively easy but impressive sounding,Jeux d'Eau and L'Isle Joyeuse by Debussy which are more diffuclt. Debussy also wrote beautiful showy etudes and we haven't even started listing Rachmaninoff and Scriabin encores.

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#455146 - 05/01/08 06:55 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mr. K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Louisville, KY
I believe Jeux d'Eau is Ravel, isn't it?

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#455147 - 05/01/08 07:51 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mr. K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Louisville, KY
Anyway...If you like Liszt, his Transcendental Etudes fit well into this "wow" category...Nos. 11 and 12 are my favorites:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=lCJJYG_ZIRs

http://youtube.com/watch?v=bcELnd34wWQ&feature=related

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#455148 - 05/01/08 09:43 PM Re: Wow Pieces
7yritch Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/08
Posts: 89
Loc: Huntsville, Alabama, USA
I would add Scriabin Piano Sonata No. 2 (in respnse to lilylady).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZ2LIOYXmRY&feature=related]
_________________________
Charles R. Walter, Model 1500 (Renner action), Satin Ebony

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#455149 - 05/01/08 11:00 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5360
Loc: McAllen, TX
_________________________
http://www.BrendanKinsella.com

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#455150 - 05/01/08 11:05 PM Re: Wow Pieces
playerpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/19/08
Posts: 83
Loc: New Jersey
How about Aragonaise by Jules Massenet? I always enjoyed that one.

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#455151 - 05/01/08 11:34 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Fleeting Visions Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Champaign, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
That's some interesting ... playing.
_________________________
Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon

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#455152 - 05/02/08 01:39 AM Re: Wow Pieces
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8306
Well, yeah, Liszt gives good wow: most of the H.Rhaps., the Spanish Rhap., various concert etudes, the opera arrangements, Venezia e Napoli are just some that fill the bill.

- Tausig's Hungarian Gypsy Melodies and some of his Strauss waltz arrangements would do.

- As would the Godowsky Strauss waltz arrangements, and a bazillion other Strauss waltz arrangements by other virtuosi.

- There's always Balakirev's Islamey (and Son of Islamey, Liapunov's Lesghinka).

- Many Scarlatti sonatas have good levels of wowiness - he was one of the founding fathers of wow.

- Weber's Perpetual Motion works, both in the original, or even better in the arrangements by Michalawski or Godowsky (although there's a spot in the Godowsky that might be injurious).

- How about one of the many double-note versions of Chopin's Minute Waltz - the Moszkowski one is really pretty cool.

- Speaking of Chopin, his Ballades and Scherzi have good old wow, plus the op. 53 polonaise seems to reliably knock the socks off people.

- Villa-Lobos' O Polichenelle does the trick, especially with that double gliss in opposite directions. And of course, his Rudepoema is overwhelming, with a kind of mega-wow effect if played with sufficient energy.

- At contests, competitors frequently use Stravinsky's Petrouchka arrangement or Prokofiev's 7th sonata to supply a certain kind of highly calculated, almost rote, wow.

- I was recently totally wowed by Yuja Wang just ripping through the Cziffra arrangement of the Flight of the Bumblebee - it was without a doubt one of the most wowzilla things I've seen or heard a pianist do in a long time.

- Some of Ginastera's pieces have a strong wow component - I'm thinking of the last movement of the 1st sonata, but some of his other pieces are quite effective, too.

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