Keys to Lovely Piano Music
April 25, 2019 8:57 AM   Subscribe

5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Piano. The NY Times asked their favorite artists and writers for 5 minute piano pieces that exemplify the joys of piano.
posted by storybored (22 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
We didn't have a Piano Day post this year, did we?
posted by thelonius at 9:27 AM on April 25

Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou’s ‘The Homeless Wanderer would be my first pick so nice to see it on the list.

Since that one is already there, I'll throw in Monk's Straight, No Chaser. Unfortunately, I don't think he ever does it as a solo piece.

And if there's any piano music experts in the thread... anyone know the composer of the solo piano track that plays during the bank robbery of the film The Princess and the Warrior. Never been able to find out the answer to that question (it's not on the soundtrack or listed in the credits).
posted by dobbs at 10:28 AM on April 25

No Bill Evans? Seriously??
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:52 AM on April 25 [5 favorites]

Solid list, but I would have picked some Ravel, probably Sonatine No. 2.
posted by saladin at 11:11 AM on April 25

I love a piano, I love a piano
I love to hear somebody play
Upon a piano, a grand piano
It simply carries me away
I know a fine way to treat a Steinway
I love to run my fingers o'er the keys, the ivories
And with the pedal I love to meddle
Not only music from Broadway
I'm so delighted if I'm invited
To hear a long-haired genius play
So you can keep your fiddle and your bow
Give me a P-I-A-N-O, oh, oh
I love to stop right beside an upright
Or a high toned baby grand!

--Irving Berlin
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:31 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]

Here's a Spotify link to the list as created by "nytimes."
posted by swlabr at 11:36 AM on April 25 [2 favorites]

No Bill Evans? Seriously??

Bill Evans: I Loves You, Porgy [5:51, 1963]
posted by ryanshepard at 12:07 PM on April 25

That's an interesting version, though it's not my favorite as it seems a bit like he's noodling while searching for inspiration before finally relaxing into it for the last minute or so.

Not a solo recording, but this classic version feels more introspective and poignant to me.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:26 PM on April 25

Came here to post China Gates, realized it made it into the NYT article. Excellent.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:34 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

I've never heard China Gates before, but wow, what a composition that can get really out there with its harmonies and dissonance while still sounding very listenable, rather than so many odder compositions that seem to revel in being inscrutable and arcane.
posted by tclark at 12:43 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

I can't think what I'd choose. Rachmaninov's Prélude op. 23 no. 2; or Scriabin's Étude Op. 8, No. 8. Or maybe even Kitsch-Musik (II) by Valentin Silvestrov; or, a bit more unusual: The Banshee by Henry Cowell, or...
posted by misteraitch at 1:45 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

It's a bit obvious, but since it's not on the list, a good emotional recording of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" would in my opinion convince anyone that the piano is a direct line to the heart. I love the Music Animation Machine one for several reasons.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:00 PM on April 25 [3 favorites]

Erik Satie's Danses de Travers makes a pretty winsome 5 minutes of piano.
posted by straight at 3:06 PM on April 25

I know lots of the classical piano repertoire, love lots of it, and have many individual pieces that I pull out to listen to like joining old friends.

But when I read "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love the Piano", my first immediate thought wasn't Mendelssohn or Haydn or Bartók or Faure or Poulenc or Prokoffiev or any of them.

Fox Amoore, Flow.

The first time I heard it, I started out impatient with the light, music-box sound. And then within five minutes I felt wonder in a way that music hadn't done for me in a long time.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:28 PM on April 25 [2 favorites]

The entirety of Ravel's "Le tombeau de Couperin" is my enduring desert island solo piano composition, but if I had to nominate just one movement for the sake of the five minute requirement it would be the Forlane. There's a whole world in there.
posted by invitapriore at 5:19 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

Thank you for this; it prompted me to spend the end of the workday listening to all the Brahms piano intermezzos that YouTube could queue.
posted by eirias at 7:05 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

My desert island piano piece is Satie’s Gymnopedies No 1, which is so cliche, but it’s cliche because it’s so great.

I listen to a tremendous amount of new piano music, and my favorite living pianist is Nils Frahm. Felt, Screws, and All Melody are among, IMO, the best piano records in history.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:23 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]

Thank you
posted by M-x shell at 12:09 AM on April 26

It's not 5 minutes ... I wish it were ... but all those picks can only wish they were burnished in the same moonlight as Moment Musicaux N°3.

And just to prove what a reactionary I've become: from that NYTimes list (and it's *a lot* more than 5 minutes!), listen to the second movement of Beethoven #32. Even Buddha had to reincarnate again because he forgot to.
posted by Twang at 10:09 AM on April 26

My brother was a professional pianist, killed by an inattentive driver 10 years ago Sunday. I'd give anything to hear him play anything again on the piano. Alas, recordings are all I have.

I'll listen to the entries in the Times article on Sunday, will think of my brother, and open a beer that he would have approved of.
posted by Man with Lantern at 11:09 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Thanks! I found some more good music.

Regarding music I've already heard many times, it was good to see Solace (by Scott Joplin) listed, especially since it lasts a good bit longer than 5 minutes.
posted by kingless at 12:10 PM on April 27

Yeah, I listened to them all but I listened to Solace twice.
posted by M-x shell at 10:16 PM on April 28 [1 favorite]

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