One-Hit Wonders of Piano Music

Once this idea popped into my head, I found I had a harder time than I expected. The majority of classical “one-hit wonders” (or Oneders, to nod to the image I chose) seem to be in the orchestral realm. Luckily, we pianists have a few of “those” pieces that we can match to a composer... Continue Reading →

My 5 Favorite Piano Rags

I don’t know about you, but I played a lot of rags growing up. I had a complete Scott Joplin collection and some auxiliary mixed-composer collections, and spent endless hours sightreading until my left hand ached from all the bass leaps. It was always a nice change of pace from Beethoven sonatas. The pieces tended... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Piano Concerto Cadenzas

Not every piano concerto has a significant cadenza, but we tend to remember the ones that do. They are spotlights for the performer to show their skills without any orchestral accompaniment in the way, and often composers save both their most challenging material and some important thematic development for these sections. In the Classical period... Continue Reading →

Top 5 Contemporary Piano Sonatas: #1

#1: Ives - Sonata No. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-60” (1915) Well, here we are at the end of the “Top 5” sonata-ranking journey. And though this is the fifteenth sonata I’m writing about, I think I’ve saved the best for last. I’ve already written extensively about the Concord Sonata: in program notes for my junior... Continue Reading →

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