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Topic: What pieces to listen to  (Read 1070 times)

Offline lilyng

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What pieces to listen to
on: December 05, 2021, 02:01:54 AM
Hello everyone
This is my first post on this forum :)
I'm an intermediate pianist (I think? I've been learning piano for 6 years now and just began learning my Grade 8 (Ameb) repertoire a few weeks ago (and it might be a stretch to call myself a pianist)) who has just recently realised that maybe in order to gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for classical music I should listen to it. It's just that there are so many composers and collections of pieces out there that I'm finding the process so overwhelming.
Could I please have some recommendations for which composers to listen to first and which pieces from those composers? Maybe from composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin and Debussy? I'm not sure what to listen to from these composers either. I don't really want to have to work my way through the WTC just yet, maybe gain an appreciation for Bach's other works first. And am I supposed to listen to to Chopin's nocturnes? His piano concerti?

Thanks,
Lily :)

Offline dogperson

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #1 on: December 05, 2021, 02:33:08 AM
Why do you need a list of pieces?  My list for what I like will certainly not match yours.
Try the ‘wandering’ approach:  choose a pianist that you like and listen to everything he/she has played— he played Rachmaninoff and you liked it. Listen to other Rachmaninoff pieces played by other performers.  Now listen to his Ballades.

Like Chopin’s nocturnes? Great. Then listen to some of his mazurkas and see if you like them as well

Listen to music  posted here in the audition room.
Someone posts here they are looking for audition repertoire. A reply is with music unfamiliar to you. Listen to it.

You get the idea. Commit to listening to three pieces per day. Just explore!

Offline ted

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #2 on: December 05, 2021, 02:53:40 AM
Why do you need a list of pieces? 

I was wondering that myself. Nobody ever told me what to listen to, even less what I ought to like, and I would have ignored them if they had. It's very simple, you listen as widely as possible, anywhere and anything, and the musical world doesn't hinge on classical. If you like something then seek similar music, if you don't then forget about it. I can't see there is any more to it.
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

Offline dogperson

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #3 on: December 05, 2021, 03:08:37 AM
I would also think any piano student taking exams can identify a few composers they like and those they don’t like —- just need to branch out to other pieces when you find a composer, a period or a style you like.

Offline klavieronin

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #4 on: December 05, 2021, 05:17:53 AM
I would say listen to as much as you can until you find some period or composer or style you really like then use that as a starting point to explore other composers, periods, styles, etc. I do think listening to a lot of music is very helpful but I don't know that it matters all that much what you listen to.

…… (I just tried to write a list for you to start off with but it very quickly became too long so I'll just reiterate what I said before; find something you like and go from there. If it helps, my starting point was the Rachmaninoff Concertos and his second Sonata)

Offline lilyng

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #5 on: December 05, 2021, 06:27:19 AM
I don't know why I felt the need to have a list, I was just feeling stuck and probably wanted to cut corners as well.

But thank you everyone for making me do the work and explore the music myself! I'll probably come out feeling grateful for it.

Offline gipsypiano

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #6 on: December 05, 2021, 08:16:05 AM
Hello,
for me its not so much the pieces that get me excited but the interpreter.
I got initiated to classic piano music by Vlad Horowitz when I saw his 1986 concert in Russia on television in 1986.
Gave me goose bumps and my hair on top of my head was standing up straight, so much was my electric excitation and I certainly was not excited by his beauty at that age.
(although he was quite good looking as a young).
A great piano piece played by a zombie/boring pianist is boring
and a boring piano piece played by a magic pianist gets quite magic as well,
imho.
In the case of my Horowitz initiation it was the music by Rachmaninov and Skrjabin that excited me most and that has not changed even 35 years later.
Some of the more exciting pianists I know you can find in my recent post on that matter in another thread.

have a nice day


Offline quantum

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Re: What pieces to listen to
Reply #7 on: December 05, 2021, 05:07:32 PM
Set aside some time every day for active listening and exploring.  Unless you are taking something like a music appreciation course, there is no need to have a firm list  of things you must listen to. 

It is more important that you engage with the discovery process, than it is to say you have listened to a list of pieces considered masterworks in the art music genre. 

I can see how at this point of your piano journey, you may have a sense that there is so much music out there and a lot of people around you seem to know about music you have not heard of before.  You are not any less of a musician because you have not heard a particular piece of music.  Take joy in discovering music every day, rather than think there is some subjective requirement that you need to know about this or that by a certain time. 

Listen in order to learn, rather than make a list in order to say you are in the know.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach
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