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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: 1820
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.
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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: 1820
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 Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21822
Loc: Oakland
 Quote:
Fats wallet finger breaker...
Ah, yes, Fats Wallet, the world's richest piano player!
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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
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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.
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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 Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
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: 702
Loc: Pennsylvania
hey mel, you think you could send me a recording of that Blumenfeld Impromptu?
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Working On:
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Beethoven: Op. 26
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#455138 - 05/01/08 03:41 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
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: 4981
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,
_________________________
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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]
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#455149 - 05/01/08 11:00 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5325
Loc: McAllen, TX
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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
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7981
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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#455153 - 05/02/08 05:30 AM Re: Wow Pieces
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nikolas:
 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... :-/[/b]
I must say that I enjoy listening to that piece very much. But I guess I also belong in the category of people who don't really count as people (read: composers)... ;\)

Thanks for the link Nikolas, I definitely say Wow! But in the end, that piece shouldn't be so hard. Once you get to bar 69, you just play what you already know backwards and you're already halfway through the piece! \:D

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#455154 - 05/02/08 12:25 PM Re: Wow Pieces
argerichfan Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 8926
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Bit of a "wow" factor here. Thanks Koji , not very ego building for the rest of us.
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#455155 - 05/02/08 04:35 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Mr. K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/25/08
Posts: 84
Loc: Louisville, KY
Hey, wr, I like all your "wow" variations.

I almost forgot about that jazz stuff I listened to all the time in college. My biggest "wow" back then came when I heard Art Tatum's "Tiger Rag." Kim, if you've never heard Art Tatum, get ready for a "wow" and a half. He was almost totally blind, for what that's worth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaPeks0H3_s

Here's Tatum's rendition of Dvorak's Humoresque, if anybody's interested.

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

Here's an improv warm-up by Cziffra, who played a lot of jazz in addition to fast Liszt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf2accwGEaU&feature=related

Also, the other guy in jazz who scared me was Phineas Newborn, Jr. His whole album A World of Piano! is sick. Mulgrew Miller said of him, "when he was on, it was all the piano you could stand."

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#455156 - 05/02/08 04:48 PM Re: Wow Pieces
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Oh/Fla
I think it's time to hear from the Original Poster to see if we are "on-track' with her/his expectations. See the original post: 2 parts.

This could go on ad infinitum (not that that's bad, as Seinfeld said) yet perhaps only 5% is within the capability of Kim88.

At this point I feel like we are shooting blindly through dense fog on a moonless night.

What say you Kim88?

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#455157 - 05/02/08 04:58 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
Loc: Europe
Roger: Indeed if the pianist is insane enough and able to retrograde 5-6 pages... by all means then this piece is easy! \:D hahaha!

But really, the pianist in the link is doing an AMAZING job (I know, after seeing this in youtube I went and bought the DVD, which is simply stunning throughout!)
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#455158 - 05/02/08 05:39 PM Re: Wow Pieces
KeysOnTheCeiling Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/08
Posts: 244
You guys might not be impressed, but I play Requiem for a Dream on piano, and most people I know are jaw dropped.
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#455159 - 05/03/08 12:42 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Kim88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 9
Loc: New Zealand
As a reply to PlayLiszt, I posted that to get some ideas as to what pieces I should learn next. I'm after a piece that won't cause the audience to fall asleep in the middle of it, one that will make them want to listen to your playing.

Also, pieces which are beautiful and really move the audience but also have that 'wow' factor (eg. Liebestraume by Liszt which I mentioned earlier), pieces that you can pour so much emotion into.

Many of the suggestions are incredible pieces and I've definately learnt alot from this post.

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#455160 - 05/03/08 09:34 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Mattardo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/11/08
Posts: 1306
Well, for a simple piece that isn't difficult The Storm by Burgmuller ( I think ) seems to impress a certain friend of mine who insists I play it every time she visits. The piece is becoming like Rach's C#Minor Prelude for me.

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#455161 - 05/03/08 09:47 AM Re: Wow Pieces
RachOn Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/07
Posts: 88
Loc: W. Pa.
Also try Scriabin's Etude Op. 8 No. 12
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Estonia 190; Yamaha U1

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#455162 - 05/03/08 10:49 AM Re: Wow Pieces
RealPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 2353
Loc: NYC
Since Playliszt recommended some Grainger, let me also recommend a set called Four Irish Dances, originally an orchestral suite by Charles Villiers Stanford, "freely arranged" by Grainger for piano.

Two in the set (I only know three) are quite virtuosic and exciting, but the main reason I want to bring up this set is because it is so well-composed. Much of Grainger (to me) seems somewhat superficial and sentimental to me, but these pieces have an internal integrity that you can hear even amid the flurry of notes.

It's a surprise it is not played more often.
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www.josephkubera.com

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#455163 - 05/03/08 11:09 AM Re: Wow Pieces
kathyk Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 6971
Loc: Maine
 Quote:
Originally posted by dnephi:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
That's some interesting ... playing. [/b]
So mean! :p I'd love to know what those Chinese comments are saying.

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#455164 - 05/03/08 11:57 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Aviator1010110 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 134
Loc: United States
 Quote:
Originally posted by kathyk:
 Quote:
Originally posted by dnephi:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
That's some interesting ... playing. [/b]
So mean! :p I'd love to know what those Chinese comments are saying. [/b]
A ridiculously crude interpretation! I was saying WOW, but for a different reason.
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Technical skills should never come before artistry. I think of technical ability as a necessary tool for extracting a truly moving performance from a sensitive interpretation. -Aviator1010110

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#455165 - 05/03/08 12:17 PM Re: Wow Pieces
liszt's pinky Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 64

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#455166 - 05/03/08 03:48 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Aviator1010110 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 134
Loc: United States
Ahh, much better! \:D
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#455167 - 05/03/08 09:22 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Cheeto717 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/06/07
Posts: 702
Loc: Pennsylvania
 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:
La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
what the....
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Working On:
Bach: Partita No. 6
Beethoven: Op. 26
Brahms: Op. 120
Chopin: Op. 10

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#455168 - 05/04/08 01:28 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by liszt's pinky:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5y9Wiqsd9xY [/b]
Ah yes - that's better.

Not that I should be criticizing the other guy; La Campanella is one of the pieces I attempt every so often, and I can't play it yet. Probably won't be able to play it, ever.

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#455169 - 05/04/08 04:42 PM Re: Wow Pieces
playliszt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/06
Posts: 450
Loc: Oh/Fla
Larisa:... Not that I should be criticizing the other guy...[/b]

I disagree. He, or someone, determined that it would be OK to ATTEMPT to perform this in public. This is "BAD JUJU, MON".

A good performance is rewarded with applause; a great performance with the standing ovation and curtain calls. An atrocious performance should be rewarded accordingly to perhaps re-introduce reality to whomever decided this person was ready to mangle this piece in public.

This was an example of wasted bandwidth on the internet.

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#455170 - 05/04/08 06:55 PM Re: Wow Pieces
lisztonian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/29/07
Posts: 266
 Quote:
Originally posted by Aviator1010110:
 Quote:
Originally posted by kathyk:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dnephi:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brendan:
[qb] La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
That's some interesting ... playing. [/b]
So mean! :p I'd love to know what those Chinese comments are saying. [/b] I literally cannot watch this video all the way through.
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#455171 - 05/05/08 12:51 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Larisa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/03/08
Posts: 498
Loc: Philadelphia
 Quote:
Originally posted by playliszt:
Larisa:... Not that I should be criticizing the other guy...[/b]

I disagree. He, or someone, determined that it would be OK to ATTEMPT to perform this in public. This is "BAD JUJU, MON".

A good performance is rewarded with applause; a great performance with the standing ovation and curtain calls. An atrocious performance should be rewarded accordingly to perhaps re-introduce reality to whomever decided this person was ready to mangle this piece in public.

This was an example of wasted bandwidth on the internet. [/b]
Well, I suppose. I feel bad for the guy, though. And I wonder how many people would fling tomatoes at my Youtube videos for the same reason.

But yes, I agree with you; this should not be up there. I could not watch the whole thing through.

LM

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#455172 - 05/05/08 05:35 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Innominato Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 802
Loc: London
How about Mendelssohn's "Spinning song"?

Very easy on the ear, nice and airy, something every one would enjoy listening to, but in my eyes impressive also to "look at", though I am sure there are many songs which are more difficult...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wQuDkZj67_c
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#455173 - 05/05/08 10:18 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Piano*Dad Online   content
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Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10406
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
My son just finished up the allegro movement to Faschingsschwank aus Wien. Definitely fun to play. Audiences react very well. It certainly has wow factor up to speed. And it's not such a killer that only a professional can pull it off.
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#455174 - 05/05/08 11:50 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Aviator1010110 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 134
Loc: United States
Any piece is a "wow" piece if played just right. ;\)

(At least to classical fans anyway.)
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#455175 - 05/06/08 02:14 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Kim88 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/11/06
Posts: 9
Loc: New Zealand
Any piece is a "wow" piece if played just right.

(At least to classical fans anyway.)

I'd sorry Aviator1010110 I'd have to disagree with you on that one, there are some pieces which are ridiculously long and incredibly boring. They make you want to fall asleep. The thing is, you're playing for your audience and if they're asleep who are you playing to? I think the goal of a pianist is leaving the audience wanting more

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#455176 - 05/07/08 01:46 AM Re: Wow Pieces
apianostudent Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 128
Loc: CA
Regarding the La Campanella video(the "interesting" one)-Is he being serious? Is there an avant-garde thing going on here that I don't understand?

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#455177 - 05/07/08 07:27 AM Re: Wow Pieces
RogerW Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/10/08
Posts: 439
 Quote:
Originally posted by apianostudent:
Regarding the La Campanella video(the "interesting" one)-Is he being serious? Is there an avant-garde thing going on here that I don't understand? [/b]
Well, I think it's pretty serious, at least compared to his interpretation of the revolutionary etude ...

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#455178 - 05/07/08 11:06 AM Re: Wow Pieces
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19593
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kim88:
Any piece is a "wow" piece if played just right.

(At least to classical fans anyway.)

I'd sorry Aviator1010110 I'd have to disagree with you on that one, there are some pieces which are ridiculously long and incredibly boring. They make you want to fall asleep. The thing is, you're playing for your audience and if they're asleep who are you playing to? I think the goal of a pianist is leaving the audience wanting more [/b]
I would have rephrased it as any *good* piece can be a wow piece. If it's a good piece and the listener is bored than it could be the listener's fault. I've heard several live performances of the Hammerklavier Sonata or the Brahms Sonata No.3 and have not been bored and certainly felt "wow".

Of course, the question depends on the audience.
If they are not classical music fans they could be less than "wowed" by either of these works. It also depends on one's interpretation of "wow".

Here's a very short and technically easy piece but for me it was a wow piece because it was played far more beautifully then I had ever heard.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=oy6uV-eMOEs

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#455179 - 05/07/08 11:22 AM Re: Wow Pieces
virtuoso_18 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 81
Loc: Syria
It's reputed that Brahms fell asleep during Liszt's performance of his Sonata. While many consider this Sonata to be among Liszt's finest works, Brahms thought it was boring. And i'm quite sure that neither is Brahms musically illiterate, nor is Liszt a bad pianist! It's just a matter of taste.
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#455180 - 05/07/08 03:15 PM Re: Wow Pieces
pianoloverus Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19593
Loc: New York City
 Quote:
Originally posted by virtuoso_18:
It's reputed that Brahms fell asleep during Liszt's performance of his Sonata. While many consider this Sonata to be among Liszt's finest works, Brahms thought it was boring. And i'm quite sure that neither is Brahms musically illiterate, nor is Liszt a bad pianist! It's just a matter of taste. [/b]
Most people consider Liszt's Sonata his greatest work. There was even a thread on PW on Liszt's greatest work not including the Sonata. There will always be exceptions to liking a great piece of music but I don't think this has much to do with thread.

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#455181 - 05/07/08 03:32 PM Re: Wow Pieces
DameMyra Online   happy
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1983
Loc: South Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by Innominato:
How about Mendelssohn's "Spinning song"?


http://youtube.com/watch?v=wQuDkZj67_c [/b]
Video was removed. It was the Rubinstein performance, wasn't it. Incredible video, my favorite performance of that particular SWW.
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#455182 - 05/07/08 03:57 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Anders39 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 188
Loc: Norway
 Quote:
Originally posted by RogerW:
 Quote:
Originally posted by apianostudent:
Regarding the La Campanella video(the "interesting" one)-Is he being serious? Is there an avant-garde thing going on here that I don't understand? [/b]
Well, I think it's pretty serious, at least compared to his interpretation of the revolutionary etude ... [/b]
Haha, made my day!
_________________________
"Silence is music too"

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#455183 - 05/07/08 05:26 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Amnesia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 116
 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
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 [/b]
Where can I hear this piece?
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Amnesia

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#455184 - 05/07/08 06:02 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Fleeting Visions Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 1501
Loc: Champaign, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by virtuoso_18:
It's reputed that Brahms fell asleep during Liszt's performance of his Sonata. While many consider this Sonata to be among Liszt's finest works, Brahms thought it was boring. And i'm quite sure that neither is Brahms musically illiterate, nor is Liszt a bad pianist! It's just a matter of taste. [/b]
Actually, Brahms excused himself because he had been absolutely exhausted from traveling. Thus, the fact that he fell asleep is not a demonstration of dislike for the piece.

Daniel
_________________________
Amateur Pianist, Scriabin Enthusiast, and Octave Demon

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#455185 - 05/07/08 06:33 PM Re: Wow Pieces
phonehome Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/06
Posts: 921
 Quote:
Originally posted by rinforzando:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Aviator1010110:
 Quote:
Originally posted by kathyk:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by dnephi:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Brendan:
[qb] La Campanella always does it for me [/b]
That's some interesting ... playing. [/b]
So mean! :p I'd love to know what those Chinese comments are saying. [/b] I literally cannot watch this video all the way through.
Are you serious??? I couldn't stop watching.

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#455186 - 05/08/08 03:22 AM Re: Wow Pieces
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5368
Loc: Europe
 Quote:
Originally posted by RogerW:
 Quote:
Originally posted by apianostudent:
Regarding the La Campanella video(the "interesting" one)-Is he being serious? Is there an avant-garde thing going on here that I don't understand? [/b]
Well, I think it's pretty serious, at least compared to his interpretation of the revolutionary etude ... [/b]
I don't usually like to comment on other peoples' playing like that, but someone put it in public (youtube) so I assume that it's ok.

Oh my! This is bad playing! Bad bad playing!
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#455187 - 05/08/08 08:11 AM Re: Wow Pieces
davaofthekeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 243
Oh jesus, my poor ears! Did he really post those videos himself? You can hear the audience mumbling to each other and some even leave during it. I am of course refering to the la campanella and revolutionary-videos.

Did he really do this volentaraly? Maybe his teacher was holding his family hostage or something until he did the performance.

I wonder if his teacher was proud that night.
I´m just imagining if it had been one of my students...I would have offered to comitt suicide in front of the audience as apology.

I guess some people just don´t have it. I mean, I have never been close to being this bad, ever. Even my first sight-read through those etudes sounded more convincing. How the hell could they let him up there? I´ve seen some bad stage-nerves, but oh the humanity.

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#455188 - 05/08/08 11:20 AM Re: Wow Pieces
wdot Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/07
Posts: 728
Loc: South Carolina, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Amnesia:
 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
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 [/b]
Where can I hear this piece? [/b]
I'm not sure about where you can find a recording. I did print the music out from the link earlier in the chain, and it is a quite nice piece. It's not exceptionally difficult to play at a moderate tempo. The fact that the piece is in Gb makes it easier to play, as it's easier to navigate the keyboard on the black notes. The difficulty level would ramp up if you moved to a performance tempo.

As for it being a "Wow" piece, my wife told me without prompting that she thought it was really pretty. She usually just complains that I'm playing too loudly. :rolleyes:

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#455189 - 05/08/08 12:06 PM Re: Wow Pieces
Amnesia Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 116
Yes, I saw the music, thanks wdot \:\)
I like to hear someone else playing the piece first... so I can get a "feel" of it.

Regarding people who want to hear a "wow" piece.

I LOVE the Raindrop Prelude, and if played with emotion (as it was intended) you can actually feel the raindrops pitter-patting off the roof tops \:\)

It's a gorgeous piece.

I also like to play Chopin's Prelude in B Minor... (can't remember the op. numbers, will get back to you on that one tonight).
The Prelude in B Minor is not difficult at all, but you can put so much feeling into it.

To me, a "wow" piece is how I "feel" the piece under my fingers.

I think that is partly because I am nowhere near a standard you guys are (even though I'm grade 6). I couldn't do massive long technical runs that have people jumping up and down with joy. I just love playing pieces I can feel... \:\)
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#455190 - 05/08/08 02:37 PM Re: Wow Pieces
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1820
Loc: Connecticut
 Quote:
Originally posted by Amnesia:
 Quote:
Originally posted by dannylux:
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 [/b]
Where can I hear this piece? [/b]
I'll send it to you.

Felix Blumenfeld's Complete Preludes and Impromptus, played by Philip Thomson is one of my very favorite CDs:

Blumenfeld Complete Preludes and Impromptus

The pieces range from nice to exquisite, Thomson's playing is wonderful, the Ivory recorded sound is gorgeous and Earl Wild's Baldwin sounds alive.

From classicstoday.com:

Pianophiles will adore this music.

Track 26 is the G flat Impromptu.


Mel
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#455191 - 05/10/08 08:04 PM Re: Wow Pieces
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by RogerW:
Well, I think it's pretty serious, at least compared to his interpretation of the revolutionary etude ... [/b]
Curiosity got the better of me, and I finally checked out this ... umm ... atrocity. (Yep, that's the word.)

Dang. That's a "wow" piece for sure! It made me think of Charles Bukowski's title, "Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit."

Just when my ears were about to begin to bleed a bit, I found a bit of unexpected relief in this incisive comment:
 Quote:
hey
what r u playing?
is it the orginal one?
or you add changes there?
:o

\:\(

Steven
_________________________

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Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#455192 - 08/16/08 10:59 PM Re: Wow Pieces
jer107 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/28/08
Posts: 14
HUGE Wow pieces for me have been:

Chopin Prelude No. 16
Chopin Scherzo No.1
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Currently working on:

Liszt: Transcendental Etudes #1 and #3
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Ravel: Gaspard - Ondine
Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 B-flat minor
Mozart: Concerto No. 9 E-flat major

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#455193 - 08/17/08 09:40 AM Re: Wow Pieces
dragonking12345 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/08
Posts: 65
Chopin Ballade no.4

Of course, La Valse for 2 hands is breathtaking as well.

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#455194 - 08/19/08 05:58 PM Re: Wow Pieces
trigalg693 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/08
Posts: 672
Somehow when I play fast Chopin Waltzes like Op.34 No.3 (valse brillante) people get impressed. Stuff that has fast notes which aren't actually hard to play impress people.

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