Millions of performances have been done on the piano repertoire. Choosing the most popular piano songs from those performances is no easy task at all. Lots of names come in mind when we talk about the famous pieces ever composed such as Beethoven, Chopin, Scriabin, Liszt, Rachamaninov and the list can simply go on. I would have also mentioned the names of Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Haydn but in my opinion they are simply no comparison to works like “hammerklavier” by Beethoven or Fantasy by Schumann. The possibilities are just endless in this case. Therefore we implore you not to take this list of popular piano songs as definitive.
Beethoven – Sonata Op.106, ‘Hammerklavier’
In my opinion the mighty Op.106 is one of the most largest and intense piano sonatas of Beethoven’s. It simply gets to have the top place here. The composition lasts almost 18 minutes depending on the tempo of the performer. But it certainly pushes not just the performer but the piano to the absolute confines of their abilities. Rachamaninov may require a faster pace of strokes but Beethoven tests and attacks the brain first, challenging the stamina to the very understanding capability of counterpoint to be in total charge of the quietest and the longest lines.
Bach – Goldberg Variations
This masterpiece was composed in 1741 by JS Bach. It was composed for two manual harpsichords but that never really stopped the pianist from playing it on their repertoire. And there is certainly no hesitation admitting that many of the best interpreters have played this master piece on the modern grand piano. The composition, aria and 30 variation, the story goes, were produced for Count Keyserlingk. He happened to be suffering from insomnia and would therefore request one of the finest and greatest players, Johann Gottlieb, to do the honors of playing the piece to cheer Count Keyserlingk up.
Beethoven – Diabelli Variations
This master piece dates from 1819 to 1823 and never at all failed at sounding fresh and startling every time it was played. The composition had humor, one of the rarest musical qualities which is difficult to be found. Beethoven adopts a rather frivolous little jazz through Antonio Diabelli, the composer, putting it the hall of mirrors and transforming the characters to every way that possibly could exist. One of Beethoven’s foremost biographer, Anton Schindler recalls that the song was written in ‘a rosy mood’ and ‘amused Beethoven to a rare degree’.
Chopin – Sonata No.2 in B flat minor
Chopin had a dark side associated to him. When Chopin’s imagination flared at the most epic point, he was capable of delivering music that had a taste of petrifying demonic power, where this side of Chopin is totally opposite to the angelic look of a quiet and dreamy man who is seen to be coughing over the keyboard of the piano.
Schumann – Fantasie, Op.17
Most of Schumann’s music compositions came from his early compositional career. It is also widely known that most of the music that came from him was dedicated to his lover Clara Wieck, also a young pianist. The two were later married but Clara certainly faced some hurdles in the beginning when her father played a major role in prohibiting them from seeing one another. During those hard times, the couple only had the window of music left between them to communicate to one another. Schumann would often send music to his lover that consisted of musical ciphers in the form of C major Fantasie. Even if this heart touching story of the two lovers was not involved, Fantasie would still remain a masterpiece.
Beethoven – ‘Waldstein’
Yes, here is another of Beethoven. There certainly is no doubt in the absolute greatness of Beethoven. I can safely add any of the remaining sonatas to the list but beyond any uncertainty ‘Waldstein’ secures the spot. It constitutes of a rudimentary force with an alluring and electrifying motion. The composition opens up with immense energy, breezing through the repeated notes and then finally explodes at the end.
This brings us to the end of our article. I could have safely added a dozen more to this list of popular masterpieces but for now this would do. Hope you agree to the list of this popular piano songs ever composed. read “How to make pianos for sale?”