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Slow, ('Lent' in French), and free-flowing, this track evokes an almost daydream like state. This is the first of three works to be given the name Gnossienne name by Erik Satie to reflect this new style of composition.
Slow and grave, ('Lent et grave'), the third Gymnopedie is perhaps the most heartbreaking. The whole ambience is punctuated by mournful melodies that have become so popular in modern productions.
The tempo instruction on the score is 'molto vivace', (very lively), and it certainly is swift and joyous. A very famous piece which is used as the theme for the hugely popular BBC radio show 'Just A Minute'.
One of the most famous classical pieces for solo piano. Delightfully playful and hugely popular, its melodies over left hand arpeggios are instantly recognisable.
A playful waltz with a slight tinge of regret. 'The Farewell Waltz', was written by Chopin for a love he was once engaged to. An affectionate piece with a hint of sorrow and melancholy.
One of Chopin's twenty four preludes which starts very quietly. A note repeats like the pitter-patter of raindrops. A more intense section rises like a heavy storm shower before fading away to leave us with the soft sound of the light raindrops again.
A beautiful, flowing introduction leads us into a magical fantasy. Sweet and tender, this is the first of Debussy's 'Deux Arabesques'. Written in E major and played at a slow tempo it gives a regal, emotional tone. Widely used in popular culture such as in TV themes and advertising. It has also been sampled by Alicia Keys and used in the video game 'Final Fantasy V'.
Instantly recognisable, this beautiful work by Debussy is calm and soothing yet is intensely emotional in places. French for 'moonlight', this track is relaxing, reflective and simply delightful.
Gymnopedie No.2 has an aura of sombreness about it. 'Lent et triste', (slow and sad), is the instruction to the player. Very atmospheric with a feeling of calm resignation. Huge amounts of space in the composition for thoughtful reflection.
The third in a series of highly expressive and free-flowing compositions by Satie is again at a slow pace like the first one. This gives the track a sombre and hypnotic quality. Creates an almost haunting atmosphere.
The second Gnossienne has the instruction, 'avec ?tonnement', (with astonishment), to instruct the player to play slightly faster than the other two pieces. Still has lots of space and freedom of expression.
The third variation of the Theme from the first movement of Mozart's Piano Sonata No.11 is slower and more melancholic than the Theme but still meanders gracefully in a swaying manner.
A waltz for solo piano which conjures up images of Paris and popular song around 1900. The title translates into, 'I Want You', and reflects the sentimental nature of the track. A wonderful backdrop for European productions.
A very popular composition which has been used on countless productions and adverts. A lilting melody above a waltz like accompaniment gets more complex and intense as we're taken on an emotional journey.
Deliberate, Ominous, Uncertain
Building, Frantic, Trapped
A piano solo that starts peacefully and delicately before rising to an emotional crescendo, then dropping back to a serene finish. An atmospheric piece that showcases Chopin's mastery of the piano.
A tender start to this lovely piano solo. The middle section rises with increasing emotion before settling down with the piece ending very much as it had started in a calm and peaceful way.
The second movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is a contrast to the first movement. This movement is positive, playful and joyful but yet subdued. Lovely light melodies allow the piece to flow along nicely. The Piano Sonata No. 14 op. 27 no. 2 in C sharp minor by Ludwig van Beethoven, completed in 1801, is also known as the Moonlight Sonata. Beethoven himself gave his work the nickname Sonata quasi una Fantasia ("... quasi a fantasy"). The term "Fantasia" refers to the unusual sequence of movements of the sonata. This explains the untypical tempos of the respective movements for the conventional sonata form. The work does not have a first (fast) movement in sonata form, which sonatas of this period usually contain. It begins with an Adagio, followed by a more lively Allegretto with Trio, followed by a fast, highly dramatic Finale, which has the structure of a sonata-form. What is striking here is that the tempo increases from movement to movement. Franz Liszt characterized the piece by describing the second movement as "a flower between two abysses".
Bouncy, Playful, Sassy
The second on Debussy's Arabesques is faster, brighter and more lively. Although the two works are usually put in the '20th Century' classical music period, they are now being increasingly seen as a separate impressionistic style popular with European composers.
The first of Liszt's Liebestraums, (Dreams of love), is a delicate and tender piece. Always light and very spacious it sets the tone for the three works as a whole. Wonderful for romantic segments, weddings and nostalgic memories.
Dancing melodies bounce and sparkle in this glorious waltz for piano. A calmer section allows you to get your breath back before reverting to its sprightly and up-tempo feeling.
A mood of intense yet subdued emotion marks the overall feeling of the second Liebestraum composed by Liszt. More dynamic than the first and third parts it shows a less confident side whilst still retaining its passion and sentimentality.
The minor key of this waltz gives the piece a melancholic, almost sad feel. The soloist plays at a medium tempo without straying too far from the initial melody, then a more optimistic section lifts the gloom before it returns to melancholy to finish.