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Joined: Jun 2022
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Hello everyone.

So, this is my first post here, but I have been on this forum for a long time and have posted much more on other forums, but thought today would be the day.

Anyways, over the past few years, I have started trying to learn a number of pieces that really captivated me, pieces that went beyond just liking them. The feeling I had when listening to these pieces is hard to describe, but often times they gave me chills or just made me literally stop what I was doing (at work or what not) and just listen. Sometimes these pieces can bring up thoughts of the past or almost bring me to tears.

As such, I had been inspired to learn a number of these pieces (not all at once) over the past years. As such, I really would love to hear what pieces give you this feeling and, if you like, why (or something about the meaning of the piece to you). I guess I am looking to learn more pieces of this nature and build, weirdly I suppose, a repertoire around these types of pieces (and also just learn more about what gives other people this feeling).

For me, to give a sense of the idea, a number of pieces have given me this profound sense of awe and chills and euphoria. The 4 that I currently know, and play, are the second movement of the Op.111 sonata by Beethoven, the Bach/Busoni chaconne, and benediction de dieu dans la solitude and pensee des morts by Liszt. This pieces had a profound impact on me and I spent time learning them. They were a huge inspiration to me and I am looking to learn what else causes this feeling for people.

For example, I remember learning about the poetic and religious harmonies by Liszt not that long ago and spent a long time listening to these pieces on repeat. The benediction gave me such chills when the originally theme returns at the end of the piece, literally stopping me in my tracks. Similarly, pensee did this as well, with the very strong tolling bells section early on and almost bringing me to tears when the moonlight-esque section commences. I bought the music for these literally immediately and started working on theme (years ago). More recently, this piece for me was the second movement of Op.111 by Beethoven and I just had to learn it (the whole sonata).

Other pieces come close to this for me, such as the third movement of the Op.109 and Op.110 sonatas by Beethoven, Vallee of Obermann by Liszt, 4th Ballade by Chopin (the section leading to the coda with the choral theme and how it evolves - just stunning).

Anyways, sorry for the long rant, but I really wanted to share this idea and I would love to hear what pieces bring these feelings to you all. I am looking to expand my repertoire driven by pieces of this nature, but also just would like to learn what other pieces have this impact.

-KC

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Try these:








"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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This is the one for me. I tried but I can't describe what I feel. A lot.


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sounds like you are more in love with the classicl/romantic period. For me it is many of the works by Satie, Debussy and Ravel.


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Just seeing the heading of your post, before reading the actual post, one piece immediately jumped to mind.

Then I read your post and saw your mention of it - the second movement of Beethoven's op 111.

There was one moment in the late 80s. I had smoked some (then still illegal) weed with my late husband and we were going to walk over to the beach.
But a recording (vinyl in those days) of Pollini playing the last 5 Beethoven was playing and just as we were about to leave the apartment Pollini began the second movement of op 111.

My husband and I both stood transfixed by the door, unable to move, until Pollini had finished.

I later read a quotation from Ashkenazy to the effect that every time he plays that movement he "can't believe it."


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Liszt Sonata, especially the ending. Those three chords before the final note, to me they represent a shout of victory from a distance far beyond the grave, at last, where the soul has finally vanquished its demons.


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The Liszt B minor Ballade gives me the kind of goosebumps you talk of (particularly the end).

Also Medtner's C minor Concerto, Op. 50. (Especially the first movement cadenza, which has the contradictory juxtaposition of insane virtuosity and tranquil calm at the same time)


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Great selections, I was just thinking about Op. 111 yesterday as I was falling asleep. Liszt B Minor Sonata as well as mentioned by someone else.

For me the first two movements of Schubert's D960 achieve this same sense as well. The other two are a little more hard to figure out personally. Despite how cheerful it comes off, Schubert's third impromptu in the Op. 142 set really has this effect for me. Not in the theme, but mostly in the variations and especially in the coda. The way the theme turns choral in the lower register is just so stunning. Probably a bit of an odd pick but there you are. The Cm impromptu does this as well for me when it modulated to I think Ab(?) and there's a turning melodic duet that get me every time.

I think the reason it's so hard to think of many examples is because of how subjective it is, and that these are often our favourite pieces. I'm playing the second movement of Beethoven's Op. 90 and the coda of that piece has made me very emotional. I heard an interesting take on Reddit that the final few measures almost seem representative of Beethoven losing his hearing. As in, the final measures play out the very moment that Beethoven goes fully deaf. I know it doesn't work that way, but it makes the movement all the more powerful to me.


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For me:

  • Beethoven op. 111, second movement
  • Schubert D960, first movement (if played right, most don't. Klara Würtz is sublime)
  • Brahms, op. 118 no. 2
  • Sibelius, op. 24 no. 7 "Andantino" (if played right, most don't)
  • Poulenc, 1st nocturne (if played adequately slowly).


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I can't believe the Goldberg aria hasn't been mentioned. Also, for me some of the Art of Fugue has a profound effect.

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Originally Posted by Bart K
I can't believe the Goldberg aria hasn't been mentioned.
I'd have mentioned it, because that's the way I play it whistle, but some HIP people insist it should be played much more briskly and jauntily, with lots of flowery ornamentation and not like the solemn statement that many pianists play it as.......in which case it sounds more like a dance than anything profound. (The opening movement of St Matthew Passion has also succumbed to the HIP view that it should be twice the speed it used to be performed at a few decades ago - I've heard recent performances that sound more like a stately dance than a lament......)


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
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Any of the greatest pieces by the greatest composers for piano.(Bach,Scarlatti, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov...)

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Originally Posted by bennevis
Try these:







Excellent selections, all.


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For me here are some of my go to pieces when I need a profound moment:

Schumann: final movement of the Fantasy in C, op. 13 (also with the Andras Schiff ending--discovered in a Budapest library)
Beethoven: Op. 111 final movement (incidentally Schumann wrote his Fantasy as a go fund me piece for a Beethoven monument)
Bach/Brahms: Chaconne (for the left hand) or the Bach/Busoni romanticized version. The major to minor transition always gets me
Lizst: Benediction de dieu dans la solitude (as mentioned by the OP) words can't describe this heavenly music
Rachmanimofff: Vocalise (in the piano transcription by Alan Richardson) difficult to play and beautifully executed by Eygeny Kissin

Mozart Adagio in b minor K.540 so profound!
Scarlatti: Sonatas in b minor K. 87 and f minor K.481 more on the elegiac side but still very profound


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Originally Posted by JaneF
There was one moment in the late 80s. I had smoked some (then still illegal) weed with my late husband and we were going to walk over to the beach.
But a recording (vinyl in those days) of Pollini playing the last 5 Beethoven was playing and just as we were about to leave the apartment Pollini began the second movement of op 111.

My husband and I both stood transfixed by the door, unable to move, until Pollini had finished.

I later read a quotation from Ashkenazy to the effect that every time he plays that movement he "can't believe it."

This. I feel this way with that sonata (particularly that second movement). Even playing it brings some level of emotion. It is very hard to describe though. I think I originally fell in love with the Barenboim version, but I really enjoy a number of pianists playing this piece. I also thoroughly enjoy the Schiff lecture on the sonata as a whole.

Originally Posted by 13bwl
Great selections, I was just thinking about Op. 111 yesterday as I was falling asleep. Liszt B Minor Sonata as well as mentioned by someone else.

For me the first two movements of Schubert's D960 achieve this same sense as well.

I also love the Liszt sonata and the Schubert D960 (especially the first movement for me). There is where is starts to get complicated for me. I would consider both of these works profound and I love both of them. Do they give me chills and euphoria? No. But they definitely pull me in and make me stop what I'm doing.

Some other pieces I think I would call 'profound' for me (if I can even call it that) are listed below. I know this is a bit weird and may just be some of our favorites, as was mentioned, but I also really like having pieces in this category that are a little more grand...I guess.

1. Liszt Ballade No.2 (as was mentioned)
2. Franck Prelude, choral, and fugue
3. Bach Passacaglia and fugue (organ literally might be my favorite piece of music, give me chills, but I adore the Coresellis arrangement...just amazing - really wish there were more recordings of this rendition for piano)
4. Chopin Ballade 1 (this piece is very important to me and made me want to keep learning as a kid - overplayed by me and over-listened to to give me that chilling effect, but very special to me)
5. Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie
6. Scriabin Sonata 5 (or 9 or even Vers la Flamme)
7. Medtner Sonata Op.38 No.1 (working on this now - so beautiful and hard to describe)
8. Bach/Liszt Fantasy and Fugue in G minor (the Trifonov recording on youtube - just wow)

Again, I could go on forever. I didn't expect so many responses so quickly, but it is just great to hear what other pieces have this affect on people and just makes me want to keep exploring and looking for new things.

-KC

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Originally Posted by FarazIsLivingLife
The Liszt B minor Ballade gives me the kind of goosebumps you talk of (particularly the end).

Yes. Same here. The thing that first attracted me to this piece is those chords right after the first running baseline in the beginning. I believe four chords in the right hand. This piece is just awesome. I also really find the two legends to be great as well.

I can't believe I forgot to mention, Vallee d'Obermann (my literally favorite Liszt piece). I think knowing the inspiration for this piece also enhances the feeling for me.

Originally Posted by drewhpianoman
sounds like you are more in love with the classicl/romantic period. For me it is many of the works by Satie, Debussy and Ravel.

This is true. However, I am currently listening more to later works. I would say I had neglected really delving into these works until recently. I just spent a lot of time/am currently listening to the works of Scriabin, Medtner, Prokofiev, Ravel, Messiaen, and Janacek. So many good selections from these composers and will hopefully spend more time playing their works in the future. Any suggestions for Debussy and Ravel? I have yet to play anything (other than Clair de Lune) by these composers?

-KC

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Originally Posted by KC_gracie
Hello everyone.

So, this is my first post here, but I have been on this forum for a long time and have posted much more on other forums, but thought today would be the day.

Anyways, over the past few years, I have started trying to learn a number of pieces that really captivated me, pieces that went beyond just liking them. The feeling I had when listening to these pieces is hard to describe, but often times they gave me chills or just made me literally stop what I was doing (at work or what not) and just listen. Sometimes these pieces can bring up thoughts of the past or almost bring me to tears.

As such, I had been inspired to learn a number of these pieces (not all at once) over the past years. As such, I really would love to hear what pieces give you this feeling and, if you like, why (or something about the meaning of the piece to you). I guess I am looking to learn more pieces of this nature and build, weirdly I suppose, a repertoire around these types of pieces (and also just learn more about what gives other people this feeling).

For me, to give a sense of the idea, a number of pieces have given me this profound sense of awe and chills and euphoria. The 4 that I currently know, and play, are the second movement of the Op.111 sonata by Beethoven, the Bach/Busoni chaconne, and benediction de dieu dans la solitude and pensee des morts by Liszt. This pieces had a profound impact on me and I spent time learning them. They were a huge inspiration to me and I am looking to learn what else causes this feeling for people.

For example, I remember learning about the poetic and religious harmonies by Liszt not that long ago and spent a long time listening to these pieces on repeat. The benediction gave me such chills when the originally theme returns at the end of the piece, literally stopping me in my tracks. Similarly, pensee did this as well, with the very strong tolling bells section early on and almost bringing me to tears when the moonlight-esque section commences. I bought the music for these literally immediately and started working on theme (years ago). More recently, this piece for me was the second movement of Op.111 by Beethoven and I just had to learn it (the whole sonata).

Other pieces come close to this for me, such as the third movement of the Op.109 and Op.110 sonatas by Beethoven, Vallee of Obermann by Liszt, 4th Ballade by Chopin (the section leading to the coda with the choral theme and how it evolves - just stunning).

Anyways, sorry for the long rant, but I really wanted to share this idea and I would love to hear what pieces bring these feelings to you all. I am looking to expand my repertoire driven by pieces of this nature, but also just would like to learn what other pieces have this impact.

-KC

Chopin's Berceuse (there's nothing else like it in the entire repertoire)
Brahms op 118 n6 in E-flat minor (devastating harmonies in the A and A prime section)
Beethoven Hammerklavier third movement
Chopin Nocturne op 15 2
Debussy Images, Book 2, Et La lune descend sur le temple qui fut
Brahms 117 n1 E Flat Major
Bach/Petri Sheep May Safely Graze

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Scriabin, "Le Poème de l'exstase". It just about defines "euphoric." If you don't have the patience for the whole piece, go to 18:30 time stamp and listen to the end.



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Originally Posted by Ticklethedawn
Chopin's Berceuse (there's nothing else like it in the entire repertoire)
Brahms op 118 n6 in E-flat minor (devastating harmonies in the A and A prime section)
Beethoven Hammerklavier third movement
Chopin Nocturne op 15 2
Debussy Images, Book 2, Et La lune descend sur le temple qui fut
Brahms 117 n1 E Flat Major
Bach/Petri Sheep May Safely Graze

I really like some of the works from Brahms in Op.118 and Op.119. Op.118 No.6 is amazing and my favorite piece from that collection. I also really enjoy Op.79 (both of them) and the wonderful Rhapsody at the end of Op.119.

And the third movement of the Hammerklavier...just beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time.

The Debussy in also really nice. I had intentions of learning that along with a couple other preludes a while back. Not sure why I didn't. I also had a pretty similar desire to learn Pagodes (may be my favorite by him).

-KC


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