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My friend is looking to apply to some music programs and is looking for a contemporary piece to flesh out the rest of her hour-long program (which has already been decided). It has to be composed after 1970 and at least 6 minutes long to satisfy repertoire requirements across multiple schools, and also something decidedly melodious/tonal as for her personal preference (so not Gargoyles, etc).

I suggested Kapustin Variations, Op. 41 as something that could work, but other than that my knowledge of suitable repertoire is shockingly nonexistent. Does anyone have any other recommendations? Probably of similar difficulty as the piece I just mentioned, and not something as challenging as Scarbo, for instance. Also going to set aside modern-day arrangements/transcriptions for now, as I'm not sure of their eligibility.

I appreciate any and all suggestions.


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Rzewski piece no. 4 from 4 pieces is really interesting. Definitely not tonal throughout, but has some nice tonal sections. Off the top of my head, I think its from 1977 or 78. The other three pieces from the set are worthwhile too.

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Check out Denis Gougeon, Piano-soleil (1992), part of the Six thèmes solaires. It's 6+ minutes, really neat and the style is I would say free tonality, similar to early Dutilleux.


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Marc-Andre Hamelin Etude No. 11 - Minuetto


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Originally Posted by DanS
Rzewski piece no. 4 from 4 pieces is really interesting. Definitely not tonal throughout, but has some nice tonal sections. Off the top of my head, I think its from 1977 or 78. The other three pieces from the set are worthwhile too.

Although the most often played music was published commercially, most of Rzewski's later music is freely available on IMSLP, and you might want to look through it.


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You ruled out Gargoyles, but Liebermann's nocturnes (I particularly like the similar 3 & 4 and the not as similar 7) and first set of impromptus are great pieces I think.

Nicolas Bacri's second sonata is neat; although the whole thing would be a little long, the middle movement is a 5-6 minutes scherzo.

I'll certainly check back here for other folks' recommendations smile

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Interesting choices, although still perhaps a bit too adventurous for her taste. The Liebermann Nocturne No. 3 sounds rather pleasing.


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
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Originally Posted by rach3master
Interesting choices, although still perhaps a bit too adventurous for her taste.
If none of the previous suggestions suit because they are too adventurous, and she wants something really melodious & tonal, there's nothing better than this pair, which go together, here played by the composer, who composed and first performed them in 1980:



Or something like this:


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You might consider sending a PM to Brendan Kinsella who is one of the moderators of the Pianist Corner. He specializes in contemporary scores and might have some suggestions.

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Thanks all. I think she will just try out the Kapustin Variations for a while and see how that goes.


Youtube piano recordings (classical music/video games/anime): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh9N3Xirs86USDQXE1WiwXg
Kawai Novus NV-10 / Yamaha Avantgrand N1 with Garritan CFX VST

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