Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

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voyager
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Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by voyager » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:14 pm

Thank you so much for reading my thread.

I am going to try my best to explain what I am looking for. I saw a similar thread where a person was looking for "brooding" piano music (I think it is in the archive at this point) and they received some marvelous responses. The wealth of knowledge contained in this forum is impressive. Perhaps you can help me.

I am not sure how much of what I am seeking exists, being that I have heard it in a few songs and keep thinking "what if I could find this elsewhere."

I am looking for slow, meditative solo piano music, in which every note is perfectly spaced apart for maximum sonic energy and falls like a drop of water dripping from a leaf, like in one of those nature time-lapse videos. No "difficult" jagged, angular rhythms, indulgent trills, fast athletic playing or anything of that sort. I apologize for the odd description. It's the best I could muster.

A few things I have heard that match what I am looking for:

Zbigniew Preisner - Meditation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyhBYj-q ... ure=relmfu

This is so perfect. The title aside, it is most prime example of what I am looking for. It maintains a slow pace, but is not restricted in rhythmic dynamics and grows like a tree. It is smooth and logical, without being annoyingly simple (1,2,3,4) or saccharine.

Gabriel Faure: Pie Jesu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndpTEivBpPE

This is beautiful. It really takes it's time to unfold it's treasures. I can not find anything else by Faure matching this piece's elegant simplicity.

Gabriel Faure: Nocturne No. 13
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltYFBQzAo3o

I love this piece, but only the first three minutes! It gets far too fast/technical after the 3:00 mark for my tastes. But the first few minutes..divine.

Moolah - Courage (piano begins at :25 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeiFUkuR1O0

This is an odd example. Psychedelic music from the 1970's. I am coming from a different background as a listener than most here, being that I know almost nothing about classical music and I enjoy some experimental music like this. The simple, child like piano playing in this piece I really enjoy.

_________________

In conclusion, I hope I haven't offended anyone! I know there is so much more to classical music than what I am looking for, but I guess I just like what I like. Imagine slow piano music that exists outside of time, unhurried by the pace of life on Earth, existing above the fray, unfolding slowly in a way that sounds cosmically inevitable, like "this is always what was going to happen."

jbuck919
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:38 pm

You must have been viewing here for more than five years, because that is the last time anything was archived. Or perhaps the thread you remember was lost in a crash we had a year or so ago. Anyway, welcome to CMG, and thanks for your post.

Virtually every piano piece that is called "sonata" has a slow, meditative movement. That's dozens if not hundreds of possibilities for you right there. The pieces you cite are not serious piano literature, with the exception of the astonishing Fauré nocturne, which does not meet your own criterion since it has lengthy agitated passages of some intricacy. I recommend that you start with the sonata literature. Just google "[composer name] piano slow movement youtube" and see what you come up with. The composers can be chosen from among Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and I'm sure my fellow posters will be able to suggest others.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Teresa B
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by Teresa B » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:36 am

How "technically difficult" a piece are you looking for? If you're seeking meditative serenity, but the actual difficulty to play the piece doesn't matter, I suggest:

Mozart Sonata K330, second movement Andante

Chopin Prelude Op 28 no 4 in E minor (technically easy!)
Chopin "Berceuse" (really difficult technically, but when played right, is a stunning lullaby with its constant LH rocking rhythm)

Debussy Prelude (Book 1)--"Des pas sur la neige" (very sad, but has that even, constant, unchanging meditative feel)

Brahms Intermezzos Op 117

How's that for starters?
:)
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

absinthe
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by absinthe » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:40 am

Debussy. Further preludes might be
Danseuses de Delphes
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin

Here are a few pieces I (try to) play when in that mood and it's late at night!

Paderewski: Nocturne in Bb Op 16 No 4
Palmgren: Berceuse
Liszt: Transcendental Study No 11 "Harmonies du Soir"
Chopin: Mazurka in F minor (Op posth) played somewhat slower than a typical Mazurka
Chopin: Prelude No 4 in E minor
Debussy: Clair de Lune

Tarantella
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by Tarantella » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:23 pm

Another lovely piece is:

Schumann/arr. Liszt "Widmung", and the original lied by Schumann is absolutely beautiful!! Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE11Pv3E1aI

IcedNote
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by IcedNote » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:28 pm

I'd say explore this pianist's site. He's a classically trained musician who specializes in minimalist pieces that can last hours and hours.

http://randrewlee.com/home.html

http://www.youtube.com/user/minimalistpianist

He's also incredibly friendly, so I'm sure if you have specific questions he'd be willing to help.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Len_Z
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by Len_Z » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:42 pm

I think you may want to take a look (or a listen) at the Eric Satie piano compositions, especially Gymnopedies and Gnosiennes. Base on the requirements that you provided, they are they first ones that came to mind.

PJME
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by PJME » Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:18 pm

Arvo Part's "Fur Alina"

http://youtu.be/0zrD9JiA_i4

may well be the kind of music you're looking for....

P.

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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by Chalkperson » Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:32 pm

PJME wrote:Arvo Part's "Fur Alina"

http://youtu.be/0zrD9JiA_i4

may well be the kind of music you're looking for....

P.
Agreed, I never mentioned this because it's normally played on the violin, but, it's achingly beautiful...
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PJME
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by PJME » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:06 am

As far as I know, "Fur Alina" is a work for piano....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BCr_Alina

slofstra
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by slofstra » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:00 pm

Len_Z wrote:I think you may want to take a look (or a listen) at the Eric Satie piano compositions, especially Gymnopedies and Gnosiennes. Base on the requirements that you provided, they are they first ones that came to mind.
This was also the first thing that came into my mind. But get the rendition made by Reinbert de Leeuw for the effect you have in mind.
Ciccolini is what you don't want.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExHakcAcVVg

PJME
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by PJME » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:18 pm

Do give Charles Koechlin's "Les heures Persanes" a try.

If I'm not mistaken both Kathryn Stott and Michael Korstick recorded the pianoversion.

Koechlin orchestrated these wonderful miniatures. Heinz Holliger recorded that version for Hanssler/SWR.

P.

karlhenning
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by karlhenning » Tue Jul 17, 2012 2:57 pm

Morton Feldman, Triadic Memories

They don't come slower and more meditative than that.

Cheers,
~Karl
Karl Henning, PhD
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Chalkperson
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by Chalkperson » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:51 pm

PJME wrote:As far as I know, "Fur Alina" is a work for piano....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BCr_Alina
You are right, Spiegel im Spiegel is what I was incorrectly thinking of for Violin... :oops:
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slofstra
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by slofstra » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:31 pm

Simeon Ten Holt's Canto Ostinato.

The 90 minute version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDCsOL2v ... e=youtu.be

The 3 hour version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7yeIWne ... re=related

voyager
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by voyager » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:04 pm

Thank you so much to everyone for the recommendations. These are all absolutely marvelous.

If anyone else wants to contribute by all means please do so. This forum is spectacular. I wanted to wait a while before responding, and I just want to say, Thank You.

PJME
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Re: Trying to find slow, meditative solo piano pieces

Post by PJME » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:21 am

I have a feeling that Wim Mertens' music may appeal to you.

Try

http://youtu.be/Ee-5nnFWfKU

P.

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