Piano Trio Suggestions
I have been searching a lot for this type of repertoire on this website, but never found one that appealed to my situation. I’m a high schooler that wants to play fun music with 2 of my high schooler friends. I need suggestions for piano trios that are easy enough for the pianist. For reference, the pianist is able to play Chopin’s C# minor waltz, so around RCM grade 9(or whatever that translates to).
Thanks in advance!
My first suggestion is to ask your pianist friend what repertoire they would like to play. Even if they don’t have any ideas, their teacher might. In general I prefer some guidance from teachers when it comes to young students playing chamber music.
I am not sure I agree, Mary Ellen. I was part of a trio for a few years. We rehearsed and performed (house concert for friends and sometimes coach's recital) the following pieces: Beethoven op. 1 /1, Mozart C-Major, Dvorak no. 1 and Dumky, Haydn("Gipsy"), Schubert B flat, Shostakovich (yes, the famous one). Of all these works the Mozart was the only one where our pianist made an error that forced us to restart (in one of the numerous 16th note passages in the last movement). I'd agree with Haydn (not "Gipsy" though, or only the first two movements) but Mozart turned out harder for our pianist than all the other stuff we worked on.
Haydn over Mozart for beginner chamber groups/players.
I agree with Haydn, but as someone who plays both violin and piano, about equally well (or poorly), I just want to back you away from the notion that Haydn is easy. In particular, the "Gypsy Trio" is the one people usually start with, but the third movement (the one with the clever "Gypsy" licks and left-hand pizzicato in the violin) is not child's play for the pianist. Coordination of the piano and violin requires good scale-skills to make the sixteenth-note passages sufficiently even and clean. The first and second movements are fine.
Very true. Haydn F sharp minor quartet is one of the hardest pieces in the repertoire also.
I think Haydn would be a good choice too.
I had the good fortune to play piano trios over a period of 40 years with three very good pianists. I played violin parts for the first 20 years and cello for the last.
With respect to Haydn, because of the point Andrew just made, the pianist really needs to be the one to choose the trio.
Or even without Haydn. See what the pianist is up for, and don't push toward what he or she can't handle. If Beethoven, great. Mendelssohn or Dvorak, great. Easier Haydn or Mozart, you'll all be fine.
Paul, I don't remember any left hand pizzicato in the Gipsy trio; in fact in any Haydn work I have ever played (which includes every quartet op. 20 or younger).
I want to "second" Paul's recommendation of the Frank Bridge "Miniatures." There are 9 of them in 3 sets and all on IMSLP:
Albrecht, take a look at the Presto, 17 bars into the Minore section, and there are pizzicato open A and open D that are (most) conveniently taken with the left hand. At least, I have always played them that way! I don't see players doing this on YouTube, however. I just checked a couple of videos and in one of them, the player was not really getting to those pizz notes at all, and in the other they were played arco.
Yeah! I always did them LH, why not? Anything else slowed me down.
For Bridge, make sure you're looking at the Miniatures, else you might end up with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HurUunFenok :-). Tried to get my kids interested in that, but my pianist son wouldn't have anything to do with it...they played the Ravel first movement instead.
When I was a kid, we had a book of Haydn piano trios. I think the last one in the book was the easiest.
By and large they are boring (musically and technically) for the cellist. But being part of the group is not boring. You may start with Haydn, but you don't stop there!
Haydn cello parts are not spectacular, but they come to life more if your pianist is sensitive enough to leave some room for the cellist, as there is quite a bit of doubling going on.
You are right about the pizzicati, Paul, my memory has failed me. Now that I looked at the part I do remember. Getting older. And, yes, I too played them left hand (luckily they are open strings; there is a Mazas study on left hand pizz. where many of them are stopped and I never got them to sound properly).
Perhaps the doubling means that Haydn can be an option for beginner groups with a stronger pianist but weaker cellist. Beethoven Op. 1 and Op. 11 are more balanced across parts, and are not as time-consuming for a pianist to learn as some of the Romantic era trios.
Ot the other way round: If the pianist is overwhelmed by complexity the left hand can be left to the cellist to play solo and the pianist can concentrate on the right hand part....
Thanks for all of your wonderful suggestions. I’ve listen to a lot of Haydn piano trios over the last few days and been loving the Gypsy trio. Albrecht funny you say that I was just thinking to remove some of the doubling in favor of the cellist to reduce the difficulty, grateful for some self validation.