- Graded Pieces All | Suite (Music) | Johann Sebastian Bach
- Piano Repertoire by Difficulty.xls
Again very good recital material for beginners. Grown ups may not find it so useful, but for the below Alberti patterns 10 is a great repertory. The second movement is the easiest, but also dull. The first and third Broken arpeggios movements are excellent. II anon. Intro to 2-voice inventions Another excellent preparation for 2-voice inventions. Hand independence Another excellent 2 voice canonic work that will develop hand independence and yet is easy enough for a beginner.
II Anon. Hauntingly beautiful slow minuet. Hand independence Another very beautiful reflective minuet, which will develop hand independence. Bohm Intro to counterpoint Another good introduction to counterpoint that is simple enough for any beginner. Intro to 2-voice inventions Excellent piece to introduce canon round writing.
It is a perfect introduction to 2 voice inventions which are far too difficult for a beginner. Petzold Ornamentation Beautiful lyrical minuet, reflective and slow. For beginners omit the ornamentation. For more advanced players there is a lot of scope for learning the art of ornamentation with these two pieces. Skips Excellent piece for the virtuoso to be very easy but impressive , with daring skips on the LH and Fast runs fast runs on the RH. A favorite with kids. These can added later on when the student has progressed enough. Very effective at a fast speed, but equally beautiful at a much slower tempo.
The repetitive figuration in broken triads make it an excellent exercise as well. Allegro in C minor 3 Bach, C. March in D, H. Sinfonia No. Solfeggietto 5 Bach, C. Solo per il Cembalo, W. Sonata in C Allegretto 7 Bach, C. Sonata in F Allegretto 7 Bach, C. Sonatas Almost forgotten these days and almost never played, his sonatas are real gems. Again, all of the sonatas are around grade , so you should be able to manage. I particularly like w62 in G. Aria in A minor 2 Bach, J. Aria in F Only 16 bars long, this beautiful aria can be easily learned by a beginner and then be used at a later stage to teach improvised ornamentation.
Sonata in G Op. This sonata was written for Horowitz. Originally it had only the first three movements, but Horowitz insisted that Barber write a flashy finale for it, hence the - very difficult - fugue. Equalizing Hand Tone My favourite though is Secrets also from op. Excellent exercise in equalizing the hands tone, and an exquisite piece of music. It sounds far more difficult. It is a bit more difficult though.
Both of these however are not quite full-fledged sonatas they were most likely composed as exercises for his students. It is considered to be around grade 7, but if you can manage grade 5 pieces, you can manage grade 7. This is a one-movement sonatina only 49 bars long that sounds much more difficult than it actually is. Once you get used to it, it is very beautiful and lyrical. They are not for beginners though, except the first one, which may be tackled by a late beginner 6 months 1 year of lessons : 2 Bloch Lullaby Legato playing Impressionistic writing, this is a very expressive piece that allows for the introduction of several Cantabile concepts: Modes the piece is written in the Aeolian mode , legato playing the piece requires that one finger be held while the other fingers of the same hand play the melody above it , cantabile.
These are excellent arrangements of classical American folk tunes. Truly enchanting pieces. The LH mostly plays broken octaves, skipping over two octaves.
Graded Pieces All | Suite (Music) | Johann Sebastian Bach
Excellent for skip accuracy. And it is a wonderful, hauntingly beautiful piece. Posth 71 no. Menuetto 7 Chopin Sonata no. Largo 8 Chopin Souvenir de Paganini. Allegro ben ritmato e preciso Gershwin called this prelude Spanish. This is a fast virtuoso piece, very good as an encore.
Andante con moto e poco rubato Gershwin called this prelude a blues lullaby. Slow and slightly lugubrious, it would make quite a good piece to play before an intermission. Allegro ben ritmato e preciso This is my favourite of the three and the most difficult. These are all short pieces, good as encores. Excellent for teaching how to voice between the hands. Excellent preparation for similar figuration in the more advanced repertory e. Mendelssohns Song without words op. Although easy, it is for the late beginner. Very easy. From here, go to the one below. Excellent to learn four part harmony and bring up the top voice in each chord.
Very good to develop the inflection of short melodic motifs. For the budding virtuoso. Good for learning how to contrast the grazioso section with the scherzo section. Omit the ornaments Forearm rotation 4th mvmt for the early beginners. Very easy, but due to the unexpected skips it teaches one to think ahead. Excellent for forearm rotation and bringing the bass melody over the mist of sound created by the very fast RH.
Hands swap figurations occasionally, so both hands get a workout. Beginners can easily master Accuracy 3rd mvmdt this movement at slow speed. More advanced beginners can start working on speed. How to work for speed, how to get accuracy, etc. Purple Poverty op. Probably better suited to older students. Good for awakening the skills for expression in ones playing. Good preparation for Chopin Op. I like no. As you know beginners have difficulty with chords, so this is a good one. All of his work is highly poetic and romantic. Bach Prelude and fugue no. A hilarious fugue with chopsticks on the RH and very fast scales over two octaves on the LH.
An excellent encore. Poetic and romantic. A beautiful, magical piece with a fast broken chord accompaniment creating a mist of sound around the right hand melody. Very impressive watch out for the glissandi! This piece was originally written for harp. Main difficulty is pedal use. The melody is in the left hand while the right hand plays a repeated but complex dotted rhythm pattern.
Sounds much more difficult than it actually is. Wonderfully tonal and yet very modern. Fast and delicate with lots of thirds and scale runs on the right hand, but no difficulty at all in the left hand. Difficult to play at full speed but easy if played slowly and still effective Recorded by Ivo Pogorelich for DG. Looks easy on the page, but wait until you try to play it up to tempo 7 Scarlatti Sonata K G minor Allegro In spite of the tempo indication this is a slow, lyrical sonata.
Melancholic and intense. One of my favourites. Look no further than this sparkling gigue. Great show off piece. If you want to develop a certain kind of technique, burn the Czerny and play this sonata instead. Crossing hands.
Broken chords figuration in Sonata K both hands. Harmonically adventurous and mood setting. A masterpiece. Surprisingly romantic, could very well have been composed by someone like Schubert. Very untypical Scarlatti. Sonata K Achingly beautiful melody. Arpeggio figurations and lots of crossing hands. Slow and melancholic. Although just one page long it requires some musical maturity to be truly effective. This is an ideal piece to open a recital, since it is slow and introspective it will calm you down.
This is a real gem. Only 24 bars long, technically unchallenging grade 3 , and yet one of the most beautiful sonatas. Slow paced and exuding tranquillity, this reflective piece is the best of the four. Excellent for waking up the audience! Figurations are shared equally by both hands. Excellent Czerny replacement and superior warm up piece. Equally effective at a slower tempo. As the Cheyene Indians found of saying it makes my heart soar like a hawk.
One of the most catchy motifs amongst all sonatas it makes one wish to dance and jump for joy. This is amazing music. Sonata K Written mostly in 3-voice counterpoint. Another masterpiece. Very unusual sonata. The main difficulty is to be found in the several bars where the hands cross. There are some thirds and sixths but they are easily negotiable.
An all time favourite. Wide skips, echo effects, but fits the hand surprisingly well. Spend sometime analysing its structure before tackilng it at the piano. Couterpoint in three and four Sonata K parts. Said to be Horowitz favourite Scarlatti sonata. Richly textured. It has everything in it: Horn calls, fast repeated notes, trills, suspensions, cross relations, parallel fifths, big leaps, scale runs and guitar imitations. Excellent as a study in voicing. Recital material for the intermediate player. Fast repeated notes, broken chords, arpeggios, leaps, crossing hands, scale runs.
This unusual, percussive watch out for the castanet sounds! Leaping bass figures, double notes in both hands. Fast and delicate with lots of thirds and scale runs on the right hand, but no difficulty at all in the left hand. Difficult to play at full speed but easy if played slowly and still effective Recorded by Ivo Pogorelich for DG. A minor - Presto Electrical piece with ultra fast scale rushes.
Looks easy on the page, but wait until you try to play it up to tempo G minor Allegro In spite of the tempo indication this is a slow, lyrical sonata. Melancholic and intense. G major Presto Fast and brilliant with a catchy, rhythmical theme on repeated notes. One of my favourites. G major Presto Looking for fast very fast scale runs interspersed with a beautiful staccato melody? Look no further than this sparkling gigue. E major Presto Virtuosistic sonata that is the sort of expected Scarlatti: guitar imitation, Spanish rhythms, fast scales in thirds, repeated notes and lots of ornaments.
Great show off piece. If you want to develop a certain kind of technique, burn the Czerny and play this sonata instead. A major - Allegro Virtuoso piece alternating relatively calm sections with dazzling scale runs. F minor Allegro A not too fast, beautiful two voice invention that moves in a relentless way with one of the most beautiful motifs of all sonatas.
Crossing hands. Broken chords figuration in both hands. Harmonically adventurous and mood setting. A masterpiece. B minor Allegro This is my all time favourite Scarlatti sonata. Surprisingly romantic, could very well have been composed by someone like Schubert. Very untypical Scarlatti. Achingly beautiful melody. Arpeggio figurations and lots of crossing hands. G minor - Moderato A beautiful and complex fugue. D minor Aria Lyrical sonata much easier than it sounds.
Slow and melancholic. Although just one page long it requires some musical maturity to be truly effective. This is an ideal piece to open a recital, since it is slow and introspective it will calm you down. This is a real gem. Only 24 bars long, technically unchallenging grade 3 , and yet one of the most beautiful sonatas.
Slow paced and exuding tranquillity, this reflective piece is the best of the four. A slow thoughtful piece, only 28 bars long A major Allegro Fast and furious, full of nervous energy. Excellent for waking up the audience! Figurations are shared equally by both hands. Excellent Czerny replacement and superior warm up piece.
Equally effective at a slower tempo. A nice minuet only a page long 24 bars amongst the easiest of Scarlatti pieces G minor Allegrissimo Ferocious and virtuosistic sonata. E major Presto This one of my favourite fast sonatas. As the Cheyene Indians found of saying it makes my heart soar like a hawk. One of the most catchy motifs amongst all sonatas it makes one wish to dance and jump for joy. This is amazing music. D minor Andante moderato Wonderful sonata, lyrical and devotional, uplifting and tranquil.
Written mostly in 3-voice counterpoint. Another masterpiece. A minor Allegro After a typical plaintive start in A minor, it suddenly displays a most romantic theme. Very unusual sonata. The main difficulty is to be found in the several bars where the hands cross. There are some thirds and sixths but they are easily negotiable.
G major Allegro Also known as Capriccio, this is celebratory, joyful and uplifting music that is much easier to play than it sounds. An all time favourite. Wide skips, echo effects, but fits the hand surprisingly well. D minor Allegro A determined and energetic gavotte, one of Scarlattis most played and well known pieces. F minor My favourite amongst the slow, lyrical sonatas, this is a hauntingly beautiful piece with a complex polyphonic texture difficult to read but easy to play. Spend sometime analysing its structure before tackilng it at the piano.
Bb major - Allegro A two voice invention with a third voice intruding on the last two bars of the first part , this is excellent for finger and hand independence. D minor Moderato e cantabile minuet Painfully nostalgic and evocative lyrical sonata followed by a lively minuet. B minor - Andante Intensely lyrical work of great musical depth. Couterpoint in three and four parts. Said to be Horowitz favourite Scarlatti sonata. D major Allegro Another typical Scarlatti sonata similar to the overplayed K Richly textured.
It has everything in it: Horn calls, fast repeated notes, trills, suspensions, cross relations, parallel fifths, big leaps, scale runs and guitar imitations. E minor Alegrissimo Wonderful study in rhythm with unexpected developments, suspensions and syncopations.
C minor - A beautiful , tranquil and lyrical sonata that grows in emotional intensity as it develops. A minor Adagio Beautiful lyrical writing in three and four part couterpoint. Excellent as a study in voicing. Recital material for the intermediate player. Bb major - Allegro A beautiful, lyrical sonata.
D major Allegro Another sonata ideally suited to replace some of the common technical studies. Fast repeated notes, broken chords, arpeggios, leaps, crossing hands, scale runs. This unusual, percussive watch out for the castanet sounds! D minor Allegro A fast sonata full of nervous energy, this is the cross hand piece to end all cross hand pieces! Leaping bass figures, double notes in both hands. Unusual and difficult.
Eb major Allegro Joyful and uplifting. G major Allegro Tired of practising arpeggios? Try this sonata instead. A breezy arpeggio study with very fast triplet semiquavers. Uplifting and extroverted.
Go and jump on a lake, Hanon!. G major Vivo This non-stop sonata will not allow you to catch your breath! Great fun to play and an excellent virtuosistic piece to end a recital on a high note. If you are looking for a Czerny alternative look no further: it is a study for the left hand plus repeated notes, broken thirds, sixths and octaves. Also good practice for quick adjustments. C major Cantabile A slow well, sort of A lyrical sonata with beautiful lush harmonies, haunting dissonances and arpeggios that are suddenly interrupted by a heart wrenching delicate melody based on repeated notes.
One of my all time favourites. E major Allegro Dazzling finger work alternating with slow episodes in 4-voice counterpoint. Catchy and uplifiting. D minor Allegro A masterpiece. A fast toccata with lots of repeated notes over long stretches. Broken chords and skips. Virtuosic with dissonant guitar strumming in the left hand and lots of cross hands.
Excellent as a study replacement. Although it sounds dazzling and virtuosic it is much easier than it sounds. Main difficulty are the fast alternating hands. E minor Lento A beautiful lyrical and reflective sonata. E major - Andante After a slow, lyrical beginning all hell breaks loose, and a fast, dazzling sonata ensues with occasional returns to the slow theme.
Piano Repertoire by Difficulty.xls
The left hand which demands a hand span covering at least an octave plays sonorous chords and tone clusters with up to ten notes! This Sonata was composed in Here Scarlatti succeeds in making conventional harmonies with slight changes sound quite extraordinary for the period. The Sonata has real Spanish character with vitality and bravura.
Musically, the guitar-like sounds of the left hand chords are particularly fascinating. E flat major - Allegretto A beautiful, lyrical sonata not too slow. B minor - Andante Sonata in a lyric, cantabile style, moderately flowing. Expansive, sonorous qualities. E minor Allegro A masterpiece. Dramatic and powerful, this 2 voice invention with a third voice intruding on 4 bars near the start of the second part is still effective at a slower tempo.
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An insistent and catchy motif keeps bringing the sonata together. Unusual syncopations. Requires a sizeable hand span and accurate skips in some of the figurations. A major Andante e cantabile Lyrical sonata, with a hauntingly beautiful melody and compelling harmonic progressions.
Tranquil and luminous, this is a masterpiece. A major Allegro Uplifiting sonata, not too fast. D minor - Andante Another of my favourites amongst the lyrical sonatas. A slow, full-of-longing melody increases gradually in intensity up to an unusual harmonic climax. Great to play and to listen to. E major Andante Sudden shifts of key abound in this sonata. F minor - Allegro An excellent dance piece full of Spanish rhythms. C minor Allegro Beautiful lyrical sonata slightly reminiscent of K 69 with a weaving three voice counterpoint. Enharmonic modulations and movement into remote keys.
G major Andante A two and three voice invention. Lyrical and tranquil. Slightly reminiscent of K F major Andante An unusual key that suggests that Scarlatti was familiar with equal temperament tuning. A lyrical and calm sonata. Amajor - Allegro A delicate, joyful sonata with a Mozartian flavour. A major Allegro Dazzling and fast, this baroque prelude style sonata has most of its impressive finger work in the right hand. Excellent for finger control and co-ordination, it is actually much easier than it sounds. Great fun to play.
G minor Presto a fugato Wonderful sonata with scales some chromatic alternating hands over the whole extent of the keyboard. E major Allegro This beautiful two-voice invention is excellent for finger and hand co-ordination and independence. A most beautiful melody on the second part. F minor - Another sonata full of brilliance, with fast scales and compelling harmonic progressions. E minor Andante One of my favourites slow sonatas.
Harmonically advanced and elaborate at seven pages is one of the longest sonatas - this is a masterful sonata with a superb central melody. Reflective and spiritual. A major Beautiful lyrical sonata and technically undemanding. Technically undemanding. C major Allegro. This is joyful music that makes you want to skip and jump and dance! This is the kind of music that makes you smile for hours after listening to it. This cures depression, serious!
Great for your trills and glissando-like scales. It is said to represent children running through the streets of Madrid. G minor Andante Another beautiful lyrical sonata, deeply reflective and tranquil, and not at all melancholic. Rich textures and highly musical. Very good as a study in long phrases. Sudden dramatic silences. G major Prestissimo Wonderfully exhilarating sonata, both to play and to listen to. The tempo direction as fast as possible gives you an idea of what to expect.
A really electric and uplifting work requiring pianism of the utmost degree. Has a recurring motif that is incredibly joyful and catchy. My favourite fast sonata. But only if you play it at top speed. It is still effective at lower speeds. A major - Allegro Lyrical and gently lilting sonata. Counterpoint in three and four parts. A delightful baroque prelude style piece with a fast right hand in arpeggio triplet figurations while the left hand provides a melody in minims and crochets.
Although this should be played fast, it is still effective if use a slower tempo. Just 16 bars. D major - Allegro One of my all time favourites, After a rhythmic introduction characteristic of Spanish dances, a most gentle and evocative melody develops. Repeated notes. F major - Pastorale: Allegrissimo In spite of the tempo direction this is a relatively slow sonata, lyrical and reflexive.
G major Andante spirituoso After a calm opening and nice little folk-like tune this sonata goes onto a breathless sequence of scurrying scales and broken chords over the entire length of the keyboard on both hands. Unexpected changes. Good Czerny replacement and warm-up piece. C major Allegro A beautiful sonata full of guitar sounds and Spanish nostalgia. A fast introduction is followed by a most evocative second part. F minor Andante moderato - A masterpiece. Beautiful, slow lyrical sonata. As it is often the case with the lyrical sonatas, this one elicits tranquillity and peacefulness rather than melancholy and grief.
Excellent for developing rhythm awareness of triplets versus quavers. It also has 3 against 2. G major Allegretto Starts with determined, percussive chords, which are followed by a fast figuration of great delicacy equally shared between the hands. Good Czerny replacement and warm up. Fast and dazzling this sonata exudes confidence. D major Andante cantabile Beautiful lyrical sonata and one of the longest.
Uses the whole keyboard. F minor Andante e cantabile Introspective, delicate and lyrical this could be an ideal choice for opening a recital. And if you need a study in phrasing and legato this sonata is for you! C major Allegro A percussive sonata, full of zest and unresolved dissonances that make it sound brittle and sharp. Difficult octave leaps on the left hand. D major Allegro Rhythmical percussive beginning followed by a romantic arpeggiated section not unlike a Schubert impromptu with a most pleasing melody.
C major Allegro Inventive sonata with many original musical ideas. Dotted figuration, including dotted rests. D major Allegro A masterpiece.
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This is a 2 voice invention with the figurations equally distributed between the hands. Urgent and dramatic it will still be effective at a slower tempo. Technical problems are minimal. C major Pastorale: Moderato Molto allegro Presto One of the few sonatas written in different movements tempos. Shepherd pipes and bagpipes drones are imitated.
The final movement presto is exhilarating and virtuosic. This Pastorale was composed in during Scarlatti's late period. It recalls the piping of the shepherds who came down into Rome from the surrounding hills at Christmas time. They begin in a moderate tempo, the drone of their bagpipes is heard in a quicker section, and finally they celebrate in a joyful Presto.
With a typical baroque figuration shared by both hands, this one is ideal for scales, broken chords and close position passage work, and excellent for finger independence and dexterity. Intense, urgent and relentless. Bb major Cantabile A beautiful aria, this lyrical sonata is a real gem. With occasional 4-voice couterpoint it has dignified, overlapping phrases. G minor Written in 2 and 3 parts, this is another lyrical, melancholic sonata with a beautiful, flowing melody. Recorded by Benjamin Frith for Naxos. G major Allegro Lively and imposing sonata with a beautiful recurring motif.
Two voice invention with an occasional third voice equally shared between hands. Effective at a slower tempo. Great warm up. From Sonata in C minor, K73 L Completely atonal music, and yet highly atmospheric and impressionistic, nos. The cycle is a totally shattering profile of spiritual development, beginning with the innocently nave and childish nos. With no. I particularly like nos. Novelette in B minor, Op 99 No. Starts like nocturne, and near the end has a noisy passage. Allegro vivace. Very fast, reminds me of a Czerny exercise for the right hand maybe Shostakovitch was making a parody here, similar to Debussys Dr.
Gradus Very funny polka style with all you could expect from modern music: dissonances, big jumps, sudden changes of key, bitonality, wrong-note writing. A fast tarantella-like piece. Allegro non troppo - If no. The right hand crosses over frequently. Not as dissonant as the others. Fast LH figurations not dissimilar to Czerny in a moto perpetuo setting. Modern harmonies and wrong note writing.
Arguably the best of the set, very lugubrious, making full use of the pianos orchestral sounds. Actually I read somewhere that Stokowski made an orchestral version of this prelude I havent heard it though. A very nice waltz, with the typical waltz accompaniment first on the right hand, then on the left.