Piano Music for Moods

Years ago, I stumbled on a website where a music lover had made a list of his or her favorite pieces for a variety of moods. That list encompassed all classical genres, and it was pretty comprehensive. Some of the associations led me to discover music that soon became some of my favorite. To show my appreciation for that website, today I decided to make my own piano-only list. My hope is that someone reading this will find some new music they love. I’ll see what the response is like and maybe follow this up with even more moods…


Rachmaninoff – Prelude in B-flat major, Op. 23, No. 2

Bach – Italian Concerto, I. Allegro con brio

Mozart – Sonata in D major for 2 Pianos, K. 448, I. Allegro con spirito

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, “Emperor”, Op. 73, III. Rondo


Ravel – Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit

Adams – China Gates

Medtner – 8 Mood Pictures, Op. 1 No. 1


Rachmaninoff – Etude-Tableau in E-flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5

Scriabin – Etude in D-sharp minor, Op. 8, No. 12

Beethoven – Sonata No. 23 in F minor, “Appassionata”, Op. 57, III. Allegro ma non troppo

Barber – Piano Concerto, Op. 38, III. Allegro molto

Brahms – Rhapsody in G minor, Op. 79, No. 2


Rachmaninoff – Etude in C-sharp minor, Op. 33, No. 8

Prokofiev -– Diabolical Suggestion

Bach – English Suite No. 5 in E minor, I. Prelude

Ligeti – Etude No. 13, L’escalier du diable (The Devil’s Staircase)

Rihm – Klavierstück No. 5

Deep Introspection

Takemitsu – Rain Tree Sketch II

Messiaen – Vingt regard sur l’enfant-Jesus, I. Regard du Père

Mompou – Musica Callada

Cage – In a Landscape


Scriabin – Sonata No. 4

Rachmaninoff – Piano Concerto No. 2

Liszt – Un sospiro from Three Concert Études

Brahms – Sonata No. 3, II. Andante

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, Op. 73, II. Adagio un poco mosso

For a Walk in Nature

Ives – Sonata No. 2 “Concord,” IV. Thoreau

Ornstein – Morning in the Woods

Rachmaninoff – Daisies, Op. 38, No. 3

Brahms – Ballade in B major, Op. 10, No. 4

For an Evening Walk

Debussy – Clair de Lune

Fauré – Nocturne No. 4

Debussy – Prelude No. 4, “Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air de soir”

Satie – Gymnopédie No. 1


Albright – Grand Sonata in Rag, II. Ragtime Turtledove

Joplin – Solace

Ives – Sonata No. 2 “Concord,” III. The Alcotts

Mompou – Variations on a Theme of Chopin

Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2, II. Andante

Deepest Sadness

Beethoven – Sonata No. 29 in B-flat major “Hammerklavier”, Op. 106, III. Adagio sostenuto

Schubert – Sonata in B-flat, D. 960, II. Andante sostenuto


Beethoven – Sonata No. 32 in C minor, Op. 111, II. Arietta

Messiaen – Visions de l’Amen, IV. Amen du Désir

Rzewski – The People United Will Never Be Defeated!

For the Sheer Joy of Music

Poulenc – Concerto for 2 Pianos

Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

Granados – Goyescas

Kapustin – Preludes and Fugues, Op. 82


2 thoughts on “Piano Music for Moods

Add yours

  1. Brendan, I will check out some of your suggestions – when I’m in the mood. Haha. Looking forward to new discoveries. Keep ‘em coming. Dad

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Well done, Mr. Ives – qualifying for two categories with one piece! Impressive. 🎹🎹🎹 Sent from my iPhone



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