by Johann Sebastian Bach ( March 31st, 1685 – July 28th, 1750)
JS Bach was a German composer and musician, and is regarded as one of the most famous composers of all time. Bach played the organ, and the keyboard (early piano), and composed music for orchestra, violin, cello, and many other instruments and ensembles.
This Prelude in Bb Major is from the Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major from the Well Tempered Clavier, a set of 48 Preludes and Fugues.
For me, his music is deeply rewarding to play because of its intricate counterpoint melodies in both the right and the left hand. The beauty of Bach’s melodies and the interweaving of the various themes and motives are awe-inspiring.
This music is very deep, it’s very intellectual, it’s intricate. There’s lots of right hand notes, lots of left hand notes and they all intertwine and intermingle like a beautiful tapestry. One thing you’ll notice about Bach’s music is he’ll take a few notes of melody and then repeat them either going up the piano or down the piano. There are some examples in this video introduction from the Invention in F major and the B-flat major Prelude that illustrate this point perfectly.
I think you’re really going to enjoy listening to the video of this piece. It’s really fun to play.
Thank you for reading, listening and watching! Enjoy!!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ~ January 27th, 1756 – December 5th, 1791
Rondo Alla Turca is one of Mozart’s best-known piano pieces, and was written in approximately 1783, in either Salzburg or Vienna. It is the third movement of Mozart’s Sonata No. 11 in A Major, and is often played on its own. “Rondo” means “Round”, and it is indicative of the recurring theme which can be heard throughout this piece.
Why do I like this piece? Well, it has a beautiful melody, it is popular, and it is Mozart! I enjoy playing Mozart a great deal. His music is very transparent, clean, logical, organized, and divinely inspired.I trust you will enjoy this beautiful piece. Thank you for listening!
George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn NewYork on September 26th, 1898. He is one of the most significant and popular American composers of all time, having composed many songs as well as piano pieces. Gershwin died on July 11th, 1937.
An interesting tidbit of information is that the chord progression (the order of the chords) in “I Got Rhythm” has become a standard form that jazz musicians improvise on. These chord changes are so popular they are referred to as “Rhythm Changes” after “I Got Rhythm”.
I am a huge fan of Gershwin, and this piece, “I Got Rhythm”, is one of my favourites to play. It is a very familiar piece to many, and also has great lyrics. “…I got rhythm, I got music, I got my man, who could ask for anything more!…”
I so enjoy playing this piece because of how rhythmic it is and also because of the challenging leaps in both hands. You can see how fun it is to play!
This fun Boogie piece by Gerald Martin, (aka the Hungarian Composer, Denes Agay, 1912-2007) is an adaptation of the song O Chichornya, a Russian Gypsy Tune.
The melody for O Chichornya, or “Black Eyes” is based on Florian Hermann’s Valse Hommage (1879), and the lyrics were written by the Ukrainian poet Yevgeny Grebyonka (1843).
Here are a few lines of the lyrics to give you a taste of the song’s story: “Black eyes, passionate eyes, burning and beautiful eyes! How I love you, how I fear you…”
This beautiful piece was written by Claude Debussy while he was in his twenties, between 1888 and 1891. Debussy was from the Impressionistic Period of music, which followed the French visual art form. In this Arabesque, it is easy to imagine beautiful scenes of nature and art.
This arabesque is in the key of E major. The piece begins with parallelism of triads in first inversion, a composition technique very much used by Debussy and other Impressionists which traces back to the tradition of fauxbourdon. It leads into a larger section which begins with a left hand arpeggio in E major and a descending right hand E major pentatonic progression.
The second quieter B section is in A major, starting with a gesture (E-D-E-C♯), briefly passing through E major, returning to A major and ending with a bold pronouncement of the E-D-E-C♯ gesture, but transposed to the key of C major and played forte.
In the middle of the recapitulation of the A section, the music moves to a higher register and descends, followed by a large pentatonic scale ascending and descending, and resolving back to E major
I first learned this piece when I was approximately 16 years old, and played it for my Grade 10 Piano Exam. That was a long time ago! It has since been a favourite piece of mine, and so rewarding to play. I love its flowing lines, as well as the rubato section in the middle of the piece.
Claude Debussy was a French composer, born on August 22nd 1862, and living until March 25th, 1918. His music has a quality that evokes emotion, atmosphere and mood, typical of the Impressionist Period, of which he was a part. Just think of the beautiful paintings of the Impressionist painter Monet, and you will hear Debussy’s music!
Clair de Lune means “Moonlight”, and the music exudes to me the picture of the shimmering moonlight on water, on a warm summer’s evening.
Clair de Lune is one of my favourites. From its first opening chords, the gorgeous melody transports me to a heavenly place. I enjoy playing Clair de Lune very much, and have often been requested to play it at different events.
I first heard this piece in the late 80’s. I was downstairs, just about to go to bed, when I heard this amazing, enthralling piece being played on the radio upstairs. I immediately ran upstairs and asked my parents, “What is this piece?!” It was the Fantasie Impromptu. Well, it was love at first hearing! Wow! It is not only amazingly beautiful, but it is also brilliant, enormously engaging, and a challenge to play. I love it!
The middle section was used as a melody to a song called “I’m always Chasing Rainbows”. When I heard that tidbit of information, I really knew this was my favourite song! Ha. I call it my theme song, always chasing adventures and new horizons, always chasing rainbows.