Piano Forum



Rhapsody in Blue – A Piece of American History at 100!
The centennial celebration of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has taken place with a bang and noise around the world. The renowned work of American classical music has become synonymous with the jazz age in America over the past century. Piano Street provides a quick overview of the acclaimed composition, including recommended performances and additional resources for reading and listening from global media outlets and radio. Read more >>

Topic: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin  (Read 2669 times)

Offline mramateur

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
on: November 24, 2020, 05:22:00 PM
I've learnt Chopin's A minor waltz, and I'm looking for other waltzes of similar difficulty not written by Chopin ( as you can see in the title).

Actually, I wouldn't mind learning other types of dance music too.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
Sign up for a Piano Street membership to download this piano score.
Sign up for FREE! >>

Offline thalbergmad

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 16730
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 07:55:09 PM
Some of the Brahms Op. 39 waltzes are straightforward and effective.
The Friedman/Gartner waltzes are sparkling and great fun, but a bit of a step up in difficulty.

Thal
Curator/Director
Concerto Preservation Society

Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3883
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 01:55:10 AM
Beethoven had some great "rustic" dances among his two later sets of Bagatelles, and in various spots in his sonatas (I think of the Scherzo from Op. 27 no. 1, especially the section in Ab with his patented "clomping hooves" rhythm as a kind of a dance, but I'm not remembering at the moment other places in his sonatas.  Certainly around that period, from, say, Op. 26 to the Op. 31 sonatas....that'd be prime dance-like stuff in B's sonatas).

ETA OH, duh, the Six "Écossaises" of Beethoven!  Those are dances by any definition, and you can certainly play those with no trouble.  They're fun! 

My memory is a bit depleted for exact references at the moment, but in addition to the Brahms waltzes, you can certainly look in Debussy.  I don't have the exact works or sections in total recall, but that's for sure.

Oh, if you truly want a different type of dance, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you of the Bourées from Bach's A major English Suite.  Unlike a lot of Bach's dance suite movements, you could actually bust a move to this, and it's a lot of fun to play (and it's not especially intricate in terms of voices or polyphony).  One of my favorites in that style.

From your experience with the Chopin, the keys are in your favor:  A major, A minor.  Some implicit modulation, but it's not a complicated piece.

Among other dance-like pieces from late-baroque....I'm not a Scarlatti expert, but I think the K141 sonata is where I'd look.  One needs quite a bit of stamina for that....it's not that difficult, the notes, but you almost have to have Popeye-sized forearms.  I've done a bit with it but haven't figured out the best way to play it with the amount of sustained energy I want from it.  Maybe you'd do better.  On second thought, it's not really a dance piece so much...I just think of it as a strongly propulsive rhythmic piece, so in my mind it's basically the early XVIIIth C equivalent of something you'd hear in a dance club of our time.

I don't know the official ABRSM or other grade levels for any of these, including the Brahms....I don't know....intermediate-ish?  (The Beethoven "Six Scottish Dances," I guess is a translation are not difficult at all, and you might be able to just sight-read them at tempo, but the whole meat of these little pieces presumes you can stagger octaves in LH and work elementary passages in thirds in RH, just like in the in the second movement of Op. 26).  You should be OK.  And also, you're welcome for me not including Schönberg or Webern in my post....although....you know....just saying!  ;D
My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline mramateur

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 08:42:36 AM
Some of the Brahms Op. 39 waltzes are straightforward and effective.
The Friedman/Gartner waltzes are sparkling and great fun, but a bit of a step up in difficulty.

Thal

Thanks. :)
I'll go check Brahm's waltzes out.

Offline mramateur

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 7
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 08:53:23 AM
Beethoven had some great "rustic" dances among his two later sets of Bagatelles, and in various spots in his sonatas (I think of the Scherzo from Op. 27 no. 1, especially the section in Ab with his patented "clomping hooves" rhythm as a kind of a dance, but I'm not remembering at the moment other places in his sonatas.  Certainly around that period, from, say, Op. 26 to the Op. 31 sonatas....that'd be prime dance-like stuff in B's sonatas).

ETA OH, duh, the Six "Écossaises" of Beethoven!  Those are dances by any definition, and you can certainly play those with no trouble.  They're fun! 

My memory is a bit depleted for exact references at the moment, but in addition to the Brahms waltzes, you can certainly look in Debussy.  I don't have the exact works or sections in total recall, but that's for sure.

Oh, if you truly want a different type of dance, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you of the Bourées from Bach's A major English Suite.  Unlike a lot of Bach's dance suite movements, you could actually bust a move to this, and it's a lot of fun to play (and it's not especially intricate in terms of voices or polyphony).  One of my favorites in that style.

From your experience with the Chopin, the keys are in your favor:  A major, A minor.  Some implicit modulation, but it's not a complicated piece.

Among other dance-like pieces from late-baroque....I'm not a Scarlatti expert, but I think the K141 sonata is where I'd look.  One needs quite a bit of stamina for that....it's not that difficult, the notes, but you almost have to have Popeye-sized forearms.  I've done a bit with it but haven't figured out the best way to play it with the amount of sustained energy I want from it.  Maybe you'd do better.  On second thought, it's not really a dance piece so much...I just think of it as a strongly propulsive rhythmic piece, so in my mind it's basically the early XVIIIth C equivalent of something you'd hear in a dance club of our time.

I don't know the official ABRSM or other grade levels for any of these, including the Brahms....I don't know....intermediate-ish?  (The Beethoven "Six Scottish Dances," I guess is a translation are not difficult at all, and you might be able to just sight-read them at tempo, but the whole meat of these little pieces presumes you can stagger octaves in LH and work elementary passages in thirds in RH, just like in the in the second movement of Op. 26).  You should be OK.  And also, you're welcome for me not including Schönberg or Webern in my post....although....you know....just saying!  ;D

Thanks for the suggestions.

I already learnt the Moonlight Sonata's scherzo, actually, and I absolutely love it! I know about the Écossaises (that is, I know they exist), even though I haven't played them yet, but I've never played any Debussy at all. I'm curious to see what his music is like.

As for the baroque music, I'm not so sure. The little I've had to deal with has left me traumatised.

Offline j_tour

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3883
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 11:48:54 AM
Thanks for the suggestions.

Anytime.  Clearly, I don't distaste the sound of my own voice! 

Quote
I already learnt the Moonlight Sonata's scherzo, actually, and I absolutely love it!

Yeah, the Op. 27 no 1 is sort of the, IMHO, better sonata out of that set.  You might be talking about the middle movement from Op 27 no 2, the movement in Db major, probably.  Perhaps not.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter, just a small example.  That is, IMHO, the best part of Op. 27/2, in terms of lighthearted charm. 

For a similar piece, also from Beethoven, try the Menuet and Trio from Op. 26:  very light and charming, and it has a few technical and musical challenges to keep you interested.  (You can certainly play it, though).  Incidentally, I believe Op. 26 was one of the few Beethoven sonatas that Chopin himself regularly played in public.

IIRC in the dance/Menuet+Trio, you have to run a lot in the LH in Ab IIRC, also in the RH, as you might find in Bach.  No, the Rondo from the same sonata is not really a dance piece, but it's pretty jaunty, so, certainly have a look at that.  The Rondo is fun to play, but, like I said, it's not really a dance piece, and it's certainly not a waltz.

Quote
I know about the Écossaises (that is, I know they exist), even though I haven't played them yet

Oh, well, absolutely do that.  They're easy and not very much effort should be required at all.  Like many of these smaller pieces of Beethoven they sound much bigger than they are on a modern piano, and lie comfortably in the hand.  I think it's all in Eb/Cm, so if you can do thirds and octaves, and sixths in that key, it's no problem.

Quote
but I've never played any Debussy at all. I'm curious to see what his music is like.

This one will be interesting, especially with your background in Chopin.  Debussy revered Chopin (he had his faults, Achille Claude, but gustibus disputandum, I could not say) but while with a few exceptions, he didn't really favor the form of, say, the waltz, or conventional forms.  Although, he did indeed make several pieces within convention.

Of course there's "La plus que lente," a waltz, which you can certainly play (I've read through it at the keyboard more than a few times:  it's pretty long IIRC, but you can play it), but for "dance-like" pieces in strange keys and odd metrical schemata, I could only suggest you read through both books of the Préludes, as well as the "Children's Corner" collection.  Most of the préludes would not interest you, as far as dance music, but you might find something there.  Of course, the "Golliwog's Cakewalk" is indeed, like its name suggests, very much a dance, literally.  But there are others.

Quote
As for the baroque music, I'm not so sure. The little I've had to deal with has left me traumatised.

Yeah, that seems to be the usual view.

But the comparatively brief Bourée set from the A Major English Suite is so much fun to play and even just listen to.  I believe there are video out-takes from when Glenn Gould was recording this and trying to decide between which parts to splice in and what tempo.

Yeah, there's of course no need to go into music that doesn't speak to you, but that's one of the swingingest dance pieces I try to keep in active memory/repertoire.

And for something completely different, I like Bill Evans's jazz tune "Waltz for Debby":  there are transcriptions out there, but while it's not a complicated tune, it's kind of clever, and, for me, surprisingly difficult to remember the form while improvising.  (There are subtle differences in each of the true form of the tune, and indeed Bill had a more or less pre-composed idea of the tune, in terms of voicing and such:  I don't recall that most people observe the differences while improvising, but one of the two canonical Bill performances, the way he plays and arranges for piano, it really could be performed as a short piece, and reinforce knowledge of harmony).  But, you needn't improvise in order to make use of one of the transcriptions.  That's a silly idea, and not what you're looking for, but I had to mention it just for fun.

;D

/////////////////////

Oh, I'm going to be truly perverse and suggest James Booker's "arrangement," I guess one would call it of the Chopin Db "minute" waltz.  Called by the name "Black Minute Waltz."  I know for sure there's a transcription of it under Hal Leonard publication, probably by Josh Paxton, who is a good pianist and a reliable transcriber.  Honestly, I don't think it really needs transcribing once you hear the recording, but it exists in print format.

I have fantasies about doing a similar thing with Chopin's C# minor waltz, from the same opus, but never get around to it, or I can't figure out a good concept, you know.

Oh, and IIRC, the original "Waltz for Debbie" off the album, New Conceptions in Jazz, I think, it was originally just a through-composed, short little piece.  I don't recall who transcribed that particular version, but it's out there.

Yeah, I mean, the tune is in all the fakebooks, but the voice-leading, at least in the original conception, is pretty particular.  In theory it's just a Tin Pan Alley kind of tune, but that's not the way Bill conceived of it, in my small understanding.

Anyway, as you know, Brahms himself was initially just a beer-hall cornshucking dance music guy, so to follow his example, I would only suggest you learn it all! 

Like Levon Helm mentioned in the documentary movie The Band "if it dances, and if it swings," and so forth.

Yeah, you should be playing all this stuff, even if it's not your favorite.  That's why it's "work" at the keyboard and not "play" at the keyboard, although there's plenty of room for the latter as well.

//////////////

And, let me give you a small compliment, mramateur:  a lot of old crusts complain about newer posters turning out to be shills or spammers or just plain moron kids.

But it seems you actually give a sh*t, so, I'm glad to be confirmed that there is still a place to talk shop without hesitation.

My name is Nellie, and I take pride in helping protect the children of my community through active leadership roles in my local church and in the Boy Scouts of America.  Bad word make me sad.

Offline visitor

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5294
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #6 on: November 27, 2020, 03:21:09 AM
These are gems

Offline ianw

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 76
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #7 on: November 27, 2020, 10:50:15 PM
The database at www.pianosyllabus.com has a bunch of possibilities covering the likes of Britten, Grieg, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and others.  Search on title = waltz and grade = 5 and you'll get 75 hits covering 36 different pieces.  Plenty of others at grade = 4 and grade = 6 too.

Offline piabanoch

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 63
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #8 on: November 10, 2023, 08:24:57 PM
ravel waltzes
I can't control Music, but Music controls me

Offline visitor

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5294
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #9 on: November 28, 2023, 03:06:48 AM
Some of the Brahms Op. 39 waltzes are straightforward and effective.
The Friedman/Gartner waltzes are sparkling and great fun, but a bit of a step up in difficulty.

Thal

I support Thal's suggestions

If you're up for spicy and the challenge, Vasilije Mokranjac Balkan Dances are soooooo gewd!
This recording is special not just because her playing is stellar , she gets it, but grail piano from Belgium, straight strung Maene!
i=uT4iWtk7s4ljxzBR

Offline transitional

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 501
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #10 on: November 28, 2023, 04:19:20 AM
Some of the Brahms Op. 39 waltzes are straightforward and effective.
The Friedman/Gartner waltzes are sparkling and great fun, but a bit of a step up in difficulty.

Thal
Good picks. The Brahms is quite nice, good sightreading, and some charming pieces that possibly inspired chopin.

I'll just say this to annoy thalbergmad:
Schumann's Op. 9 Carnaval has some good waltzes:
#3 arlequin
#4 valse noble
#6 florestan
#11 asch scha
#12 chiarina
#14 estrella
#17 valse allemande
#20 promenade
#21 pause
#22 marche
Schubert sonatas are amazing and I want to learn all of them eventually! My favorites are D 960, D 959, D 840, D 568, and D 894.

Offline the green piano man

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #11 on: December 01, 2023, 07:02:18 AM
Liszt/Gounod Faust waltz. It is truly amazing
The green piano man

Offline kosulin

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #12 on: December 02, 2023, 06:18:10 AM
Nobody mentioned Strauss?
Yes, for most of his waltzes you would need to look for arrangements, and there are many. But he also wrote few waltzes for piano solo as well.
Vlad

Offline wildman

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #13 on: December 22, 2023, 06:56:50 AM
You might want to try Scott Joplin's "Bethena".

Offline roboute guilliman cfa

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 20
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #14 on: December 22, 2023, 08:08:55 PM
Scriabin valse op 38 is my favorite non-Chopin waltz and one of the greatest waltzes ever written. He can  be more Chopin than Chopin. The Ravel valses sentimentale, Liszt valse oubliee and valse caprices are also good.

Seconding Waltz for Debbie, what a gem.

Offline jamienc

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 101
Re: I need waltzes that weren't written by Chopin
Reply #15 on: December 26, 2023, 07:40:22 PM
When I was studying at IU in the late 90s I attended a recital given by Jeremy Denk that featured a selection of waltzes by Schubert (among other things), and although they were technically quite easy, the musicality and charming nature of the performance has always stuck with me. I was totally mesmerized by the calm and beauty of the structure/phrasing amidst all the virtuoso works everyone learns to prepare for competitions and auditions. I can’t remember which ones were programmed but with a bit of research I bet it would be found with a quick internet search of the recital program. It was around 1998 or 1999 that he did that performance, and it was memorable to say the least…
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert