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#536230 - 11/14/07 12:39 PM The slower, darker stuff :)
James Youn Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/25/07
Posts: 5
What's your favorite slow/dark/sad/menacing/etc... song for the piano?

I have a hard time finding music I like to play because I tend to lean towards the more obscure stuff. So, no bright, cheery, fluffy ballet-music, please!

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#536231 - 11/14/07 12:45 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
pianojerome Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/05
Posts: 9868
Shostakovich, Prelude in E-Flat Minor, Op. 34 No. 14.

Another good one is Prokofiev, Despair, Op. 4 No. 3[/b] (not the famous #4, which is also menacing but much faster).

For something a bit lonely, try Shostakovich's Prelude Op. 34 No. 22. It's not menacing. It's very lonely music.

#536232 - 11/14/07 12:57 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
L'echange Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 634
Loc: Romney WV
Very slow and dark in a different way - Messiaen Regard #1

Ravel - Le Gibet from Gaspard

Schumann - Theme from symphonic etudes and some of the variations

Not piano,,, but drone metal bands like Earth, Weed Eagle, and Sleep. They have a very dark, VERY slow, sometimes sad (earth), and usually menacing sound.
"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus,


#536233 - 11/14/07 01:07 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
vanityx3 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/06
Posts: 269
Lots of Scriabin is dark and menacing. go to pinaosociety.com and listen to some of his preludes and things. He has lots of haunting melodies.
well I'm 20 years old, and I'm teaching myself piano.

#536234 - 11/14/07 01:14 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Shellman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 133
Loc: East Riding, Yorkshire, Englan...
L'exchange, in that case you need to investigate William Sterndale-Bennett as the Op.13 theme comes from a work of his (can't remember which at the moment though...)

I would personally nominate Liszt's La Lugubre Gondola (version 2)
Best regards,

#536235 - 11/14/07 01:31 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1733
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Second vote for Scriabin -- check out the Sixth and Ninth ("Black Mass") Sonatas. Scriabin himself was scared of the Sixth (he never performed it). If you like the earlier, more romantic Scriabin, check out the last movement (a funeral march) from the First Sonata.
And if you are feeling really adventurous, try Schoenberg's Piano Pieces, Op. 11, specifically #1 and #2 (but not #3, which is a cry of despair).
Faure's late Nocturnes (nos. 9-13) are indeed dark. #12 is a favorite of mine and an unknown gem.
One of most desolate pieces I know is the Sarabande from Bach's Fifth Suite for solo cello (C minor). It's not piano music, but you can easily read through it on the piano. A great way to be expressive with just a single line with no accompaniment.
Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

#536236 - 11/14/07 02:05 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
bryan s Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 180
Loc: new york
Chopin - Prelude 2 in Am
Ornstein - Sonata 4, 2nd movement ('semplice')
Scriabin - 6th and 9th Sonatas
Alkan - Concerto 2nd movement
Beethoven - Hammerklavier slow movement
Godowsky - Java Suite: "In the Kraton"
(If you haven't heard the Java Suite, get it!)
John Coltrane saved my life.

#536237 - 11/14/07 03:26 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Robert Kenessy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/07
Posts: 394
Loc: Enebyberg Sweden
Alkan's 'chanson de la folle au bord de la mer' ("song of the crazy woman at the sea shore") for piano solo. Enjoy! (if that's the right word)
Robert Kenessy

.. it seems to me that the inherent nature [of the piano tone] becomes really expressive only by means of the present tendency to use the piano as a percussion instrument - Béla Bartók, early 1927.

#536238 - 11/14/07 03:37 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
cheez_5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/06
Posts: 57
Brahms's first ballade op. 10 no. 1 is a good choice too. It is very dark, yet noble.
Current repertoire:
Bach: P&F in E flat Book II
Beethoven: Sonata Op. 57 1st movement
Kennan: Three Preludes
Schumann: Concerto

#536239 - 11/16/07 12:03 AM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Ferdinand Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 954
Loc: California
Speaking of Brahms -
Intermezzo opus 118 #6 in e flat minor
Intermezzo opus 116 #2 in a minor

#536240 - 11/16/07 12:07 AM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Kreisler Offline

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13827
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Probably the darkest piece I know is the 2nd Shostakovich sonata. It's almost never played, but it's a wonderful piece, sort of a big brother (in spirit, not in style) to the Berg sonata (and in the same key.)
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)


#536241 - 11/16/07 01:32 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
Eeeff Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/06
Posts: 192
If you can play the melody JUST right, Moonlight Sonata, 1st movement.

That is one menacing line.

#536242 - 11/16/07 02:12 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
John Citron Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 3925
Loc: Haverhill, Massachusetts
I second the Alkan 2nd Movement. Also try Gottschalk's Morte!!, Berceuse, and La Savane.


#536243 - 11/16/07 09:40 PM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
bryan s Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 180
Loc: new york
Originally posted by Robert Kenessey:
Alkan's 'chanson de la folle au bord de la mer' ("song of the crazy woman at the sea shore") for piano solo. Enjoy! (if that's the right word) [/b]
Just listened to it and
Wow, good stuff!
John Coltrane saved my life.

#536244 - 11/17/07 06:06 AM Re: The slower, darker stuff :)
dannylux Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/06
Posts: 1844
Loc: Connecticut
Cécile Chaminade is known mostly for her charming salon pieces.

Her dark and brooding Au Pays Dévasté, Op.155 (1919) is very beautiful. This is no salon piece.

Another wonderful dark piece is Tomas Leon's Dolor Profundo.

"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get — only what you are expecting to give — which is everything. You give because you love and cannot help giving." Katharine Hepburn


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