happy classical
May 12, 2005 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Wedding Filter: I'm looking for piano pieces that are light, happy, and energetic. I like classical and baroque (Mozart, Handel, Bach, etc.), and would prefer something not hacknied or cliched -- i.e. no Vivaldi Four Seasons or Delibes Lakme. Needs to be piano music or adaptable to piano. These would be played before the ceremony begins, as people are sitting down.
posted by timnyc to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How skilled is your pianist?
posted by agropyron at 8:14 AM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: Very. He's recorded with EMI.
posted by timnyc at 8:25 AM on May 12, 2005

Debussey, "Claire de Lune."
posted by josh at 8:31 AM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: No romantic-era, please. And, especially if it's on popular wedding music compilations.
posted by timnyc at 8:38 AM on May 12, 2005

Best answer: Bach:
3-part Invention No. 3 in D Major
3-part Invention No. 8 in F Major
3-part Invention No. 10 in G Major
(You could just give him a book of 2-part and/or 3-part inventions and ask him to cycle through the ones in major mode)

Partita No. 1 in B Flat Major
Partita No. 5 in G Major
Italian Concerto in F Major
posted by agropyron at 8:44 AM on May 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

You could also have him bring a book of Mozart piano sonatas and ask him to play through the fast movements in major. They're all pretty happy and nice. Or if you want to exert more control than that, get a CD set from the library and listen through the major+fast movements and pick several.
posted by agropyron at 8:48 AM on May 12, 2005

You could also have him bring a book of Mozart piano sonatas and ask him to play through the fast movements in major.

On second thought, and after listening to a few, most of Mozart's seem to modulate into a minor key for a while, so those might not be the best. Sorry for spamming up your question.
posted by agropyron at 8:51 AM on May 12, 2005

I think a piano adaptation of Holst's planet series might be appropriate, especially 'Venus, bringer of peace'.
posted by Alison at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: Agropyron - your suggestions are great. The Bach Inventions are perfect.

Everyone - The more ideas, the merrier...
posted by timnyc at 8:59 AM on May 12, 2005

bach. goldberg variations would do nicely.
posted by thimk at 9:07 AM on May 12, 2005

Early Beethoven sonatas -- first movements at least -- like the Op. 2s and the Op. 10s... Clementi sonatas are also good, nice and light. What about Ravel? The Sonatine or some of the Miroirs? or the Debussy Arabesques? And yes to Bach Preludes, Partitas, or some of the Goldberg.
posted by youarejustalittleant at 9:10 AM on May 12, 2005

What you're setting up is similar to what I do as a church musician - I play a lot of prelude and other incidental processional music, and my major issue is that I never know when I need to stop.

I don't have any specific suggestions, but - for at least the final pieces - I'd go for something that can be easily vamped, as well as concluded abruptly without sounding off. It's frustrating for the musician to run out of music for those last 2 minutes, or for the audience have to wait 5 or 6 min for a piece to conclude. (Though you're the best judge if folks would mind.)

My own preference is to stick to baroque era stuff, as the blocks of repeats and clear-cut modulations make it easy to make these edits on the fly.
posted by Sangre Azul at 10:14 AM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: Sangre - Good point. My pianist already mentioned this to me. This is why Bach works so well.

Any non-Bach Baroque I should sample?...
posted by timnyc at 10:24 AM on May 12, 2005

Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas, if they pass your cliche-filter.
posted by brownpau at 10:47 AM on May 12, 2005

Debussy, Dvorak and Satie. The trinity.
posted by luriete at 11:57 AM on May 12, 2005

No romantic-era, please.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:07 PM on May 12, 2005

I think Satie would be perfect.
posted by languagehat at 4:24 PM on May 12, 2005

Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Edvard Grieg - may be too romantic for you, but there's a short clip here. It's really delightful, and the piano reduction is a good one (but be sure to hear the full orchestral version if you can find it).
posted by DandyRandy at 5:28 PM on May 12, 2005

Some of the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues are delightful, if tricky to play. And definitely upbeat! Failing that,
As a (non-pianist) muso who's played weddings, I'd recommend against too much micro-managing -- specifying every single song you want played, down to the second, can be (a) irritating for the musicians and for guests and (b) counter-productive if something goes awry.
If your musician is as good as you say (and lord, I wish I could get someone like that!) then specify a processional piece, a recessional piece, a signing-the register piece, and trust in him/her for the rest (after specifying light/happy/not cliched).

posted by coriolisdave at 6:47 PM on May 12, 2005

Erm, have you thought about ragtime? Very easy to vamp, mostly light and cheerful, very pianistic. I know you like classical but you'll find that Joplin has a lot in common with CPE Bach. Honest.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:35 AM on May 13, 2005

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