Tuesday, January 17, 2017

2016 Playing List

What is the 2016 Playing List, you ask? It's a new list that I plan to post every January (I know, I know, you're super excited) of the piano pieces I completed in the previous year.  As many of you know, after nearly 20 years of virtually not playing the piano at all, I finally got a piano in 2016 and have been playing my little heart out, getting reacquainted with my first musical love.

I've been pleasantly surprised at how quickly I have gotten back to a place of reasonable competence, given how long it had been since I'd played.

Once I get more comfortable (and competent) performing in front of a running video camera, I hope to start posting videos of my playing here on my blog.

For the time being, here are the pieces I completed in 2016.  Considering it wasn't until the beginning of August that I got the piano, I'm pretty pleased with this list.  A lot of them are pretty simple, but still.

I'm primarily using piano books from my college days, and it's been nice because my piano professor's notes and markings are all still there.  It's like Dr. Tilford is still teaching me, even though he's in his 80s now and living in Alabama. I had forgotten that I ever played a lot of these songs until I started flipping through the books and seeing his scratchings on various pieces.

I'm currently working on a Scott Joplin rag, the first movement of a Mozart sonata, a set of seven folk songs by Beethoven, and a Bach invention.  In addition to the songs that I'm learning at any given time, I also do regular piano exercises, using an exercise book I used with my piano teacher in high school, as well as The Virtuoso Pianist, a well-known exercise book first published in the 1800s by Charles-Louis Hanon. And, like any good pianist, I do daily scales and arpeggios.

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Aug. 2016
Bagatelle in A Minor, WoO 59, “Für Elise” – Ludwig van Beethoven

I used to play this one when I was younger, though I don't believe I ever mastered the entire song (most people are familiar with the famous opening refrain, but there are two other sections to the piece too which are more difficult and typically left out of your basic 5th grade piano book). 

Minuet in G Major, WoO 10 No. 2 – Ludwig van Beethoven

Sept. 2016
Sonatina in G Major, Anh. 5 No. 1 – Ludwig van Beethoven
“Edelweiss” – Richard Rodgers, arranged for piano by Dick Averre

This one was from sheet music I bought in high school but never learned. 

Sonatina in C Major (first movement only), Op. 36 No. 1 – Muzio Clementi
Sonatina in A Minor, Op. 27 No. 11 – Dmitri Kabalevsky
Ballade in C Minor – Friedrich Burgmüller
Spinning Song, Op. 14 – Albert Elmenreich

Oct. 2016
Prelude in C Minor, Op. 28 No. 20 – Frédéric Chopin
Prelude in E Minor, Op. 28 No. 4 – Frédéric Chopin
March in D Major, BWV Anh. 122 – Johann Sebastian Bach
March in G Major, BWV Anh. 124 – Johann Sebastian Bach

I really don't like playing Bach.  I resented it in college when Dr. Tilford made me play him all the time. I just wanted to play Beethoven and Liszt. I still don't like playing Bach's stuff, but I know now how important it is for teaching your fingers how to move across the keys.  So, as with Beethoven, my favorite composer, whenever I finish a Bach piece, I immediately start another.  

Nov. 2016
“Träumerei,” Op. 15 No. 7 – Robert Schumann

I clunked my way through this one when I was younger, but never really mastered it.  It's one of my all time favorites.  A beautiful piece.  YouTube it. 

Prelude in F Major, BWV 927 No. 4 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Sonatina in F Major, Anh. 5 No. 2 – Ludwig von Beethoven
“German Song,” Op. 39 No. 17 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Dec. 2016
“The Entertainer” – Scott Joplin

A famous ragtime piece, this one is also from a piece of sheet music that I think I bought in high school.  If memory serves, I learned to play the first section pretty well back then, but never bothered with the second, third, or fourth sections (the second section, in particular, is quite difficult).  I'm still playing this piece almost every day, to keep it clean, but I counted it as "complete" back in December. This is one of my all-time favorites. 


Prelude in C Minor, BWV 934 – Johann Sebastian Bach 

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