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8

What a great question! I am currently working my way through the second book, so I have more specific opinions about that. Of those I've learnt from the first book, I found the following to be less tricky: The C major prelude, of course. Curtis is right about the difficulty of the fugue, however. c minor prelude and fugue are a good first pair to learn c# ...


6

The Goldberg Variations are considered infamous / demanding for a few reasons, which I will outline briefly below. Firstly, the reasons why the work is infamous: The work is a theme and variations, and to my knowledge there is only one other JS Bach piece that follow suit (see comments below). The work represents the highest model of Baroque theme and ...


6

Very few before 1890. Some pianos like the Steinway A still had only 85 notes at that time, and most composers stayed within that range. After that time, many composers pushed the limits. Olivier Messiaen's piano compositions use the full range. For instance the two-piano piece "Visions de l'Amen" opens with a triad on the lowest A of the piano. Another ...


6

When learning a new instrument, it is important to start from the beginning - even if you know the theory stuff. The reason for this is that even though you may know how to read (how is your alto clef reading?) you still need to develop the technique. Playing the "baby" material is essential for developing a proper pedagogical foundation with your new ...


6

I think that every piece of music deserves the best possible method of being prepared in a such a way that both the musicians and audience have a pleasing experience. Preparation includes time, rehearsal, and every member stepping up to meet the challenge including the conductor's interpretation so that the entire group is a part of the solution. If your ...


5

There are a number of pieces for left-hand only piano. I'm only familiar with CPE Bach's Solfegietto (I'm not sure if it was originally written for left-hand piano or 2-hand piano), but a quick IMSLP search brings up a sizeable list of left-hand pieces. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, IMSLP has no indication of the level of the pieces; you'll have to ...


4

Two answers: 1) You order to your heart's content and wallet's tolerance from The Early Music Workshop of New England, the retail shop of The Von Huene Workshop, makers of some of the very finest recorders. If you're overwhelmed by the variety of choices at that link, allow me to recommend picking up the phone and calling them when they're open, and asking ...


4

There are stories about Glenn Gould 'practicing mentally' rather than physically at the piano. Of course he had extraordinary talent and memory, and mere mortals can't do exactly as he did. But the story suggests that repeated play through might not be the only way to keep a piece of music in memory. I think some people talk about 'visualizing' performance ...


4

Not having enough time to spend with an instrument will always be challenging to improve your skills. However, as per answer above, practising away from the instrument can be done: I always practise! In the shower, walking the dog, driving, waiting for the kettle.... you get the idea. It is hard to start and takes discipline but with perseverance, it ...


3

Take a look at Duets for One (duetsforone.com) where you'll find some beautiful baroque music recorded and pdf sheet musc for you to play along with in your practise time. There are some free samples on there to try before you buy.


3

In IMSLP it is possible to select by instrument. Unfortunately the repertoire there is not overwhelming and one has to recognize the desired period(s) oneself. More of an idea, what exists, can be found at score shops like Sheet Music Plus. Good news is, that there is really a lot. In Renaissance there was no strict instrument assignment, so scores for ...


3

I don't know how old this topic is, but generally speaking, VERY generally, the preludes are easier than the fugues, the easier keys are the ones with the fewer sharps and flats, C,D,F,G. etc. The two voice fugues are easier than the three and four voiced fugues, and as far as tempo goes, though it may be tempting, and everybody does it, don't play at tempo ...


3

You'll tend to find a lot of what you're looking for in standard introduction books, such as this one. I say a lot of, not all, because while they focus on techniques of progressive difficulty, as an accomplished musician on one instrument already you may well not find them musically interesting. At least not to start with. If you want to plump for the ...


3

Chapeau to the directors you encountered. I can only speak for orchestras, but there I've seen more than once the over-ambitious director, frequently choosing pieces, which were (at least one level) too difficult. It's always a tight line to find, but the danger of musicians stumbling through a piece completely absorbing all concentration, so that none ...


2

I played piano, harpsichord and organ for a very long time and picked up viola early last year. As this wasn't the first instrument,I progressed very fast throguh the method book I was using (Methode d'Alto, Henri Classens, edition Combre - it is a little old French method book. No cbildren's songs at all, but as there is no explanations on technique, you ...


2

For you in particular, I highly recommend the Suzuki books for the following reasons: It does not try to teach you how to read music It's not just generic etudes; it has has a good variety of pieces from a variety of decent composers, especially as you go further up the volumes And most importantly, you can view the full first volume here to see if you like ...


2

Another little known gem is Luigi Legnani, a friend of Nicolo Paganini. While there are some published guitar works by Paganini, I find them very boring. They lack the fury of the violin works; but being mostly moving chords over drones, they could serve as nice exercises. Legnani, on the other hand, is a firecracker at a Quaker meeting. Dark marcato ...


2

There's another consideration to take into account with this question: while a piece may be strictly possible to play without the full 88 keys by moving it up or down an octave, it may not actually sound any good at that point. The lowest and highest octaves have very distinctive sounds about them, and notes written in those ranges are generally written ...


2

I went from a board with 61 keys to one with 73. It was a vast improvement. I still miss the very lowest keys, not so much the highest octave. Happily I have my old upright at home for when nothing will do but that low A, or Bb. When gigging, I need to stay away from too much bass anyway, so it is not so bad. But if this is your only keyboard, I expect ...


2

Yes, it will restrict your repertoire. I have a 61 key synth, and there are occasions when I have to adapt a piece 'to fit'. Not very many songs, mind. It doesn't make me regret buying it 20 years ago. There is a dedicated transpose key that I can configure from -24 to +24, so the theoretical range is greater than 88 keys, however, despite it being very ...


2

John Corigliano, Etude-Fantasy and Concerto for Piano and Orchestra both use a huge range of the instrument. Also Fredric Rzewski piano piece #4 (from Four Piano Pieces) starts on the B one note from the top of a full-scale piano and uses the lowest A on the piano. (I have had to "recompose" the piece on the fly when presented at the last moment with a ...


2

Beethoven 5 is tricky for conductors in the first handful of bars (the very famous bit). It's because of the abrupt pauses combined with the fact that the big 4 note motto starts each time on an offbeat, after a quaver rest. Also, it's in a quick 2/4. They must decide to conduct in a quick 2 or slower 1. That's a lot to handle for an inexperienced ...


2

Beethoven 5 presents no problems to a 'commercial' conductor who is happy to give a clear 'and ONE' in front of 'Da Da Da Daa..' The classical guys sometimes feel it's infra dig to 'count in', and tie themselves up in knots. There's a similar situation at the opening of Mozart's Magic Flute overture. You can give two clear preparatory beats to the ...


1

Threads like these on delcamp may give you more ideas. http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=74817 http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=74600 One of those specifically asks about Tarrega pieces, which would include the Lagrima that I mentioned in a comment. Someone else mentions Capricho Arabe.


1

Well, the technical difficulties are basically what you'll encounter with the three-part inventions or symphonies. In contrast to them, they are assembled into a musical whole rather than an educational one. The typical pianist rather rarely is confronted with the wish to make a performance from all three-part inventions. The Goldberg variations were ...


1

If you want pieces from the "classical period proper," then Mozart and Haydn are the main ones. If you want to stretch a point, then include Beethoven up through Op. 22 or perhaps Op. 49. If you want to further stretch a point, then include Beethoven up through Op. 90, and some of Schubert's earlier works. Of course, there are plenty of other composers of ...


1

Well yes there are examples from all over the place really. Beethoven and Mozart were mentioned by Laurence. Most Mozart sonatas are within range of decent amateurs but find a recording of Dinu Lipatti playing K310 and see how a professional tackles it, especially the last movement. Ditto Beethoven, although the later sonatas are a bit tricky, I admit. ...


1

Beethoven and Mozart piano sonatas are regularly performed, both in examinations and concert hall. Including the 'easier' ones.


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