Some of My Favorite Pieces I Sightread

Happy September!

Whew, well I had a whirlwind of a time my last few weeks of summer and a lot of things came up, BUT am happy to say that I finished my Summer Sightreading Challenge and sightread over 100 pieces! Yes, I may have begun the summer sightreading much harder and longer pieces than I ended with, but I did complete the challenge :) I really enjoyed it, particularly because I got to discover some amazing pieces I had never taken the opportunity to play before. My sightreading skills increased (which I think is true for anyone at any level who decides to sightread consistently) and it gave me, a busy stay-at-home mom, a great excuse to play more consistently.

I wanted to share some of the great books I decided to sighread through this summer - kind of a random assortment, but that's how I roll!

I started out with some Debussy - very challenging sightreading but I loved it. I discovered that I LOVE the whole Suite Bergamasque (which includes the famous Clair de Lune - I think it's wonderful to hear such a beloved and often-heard piece in the context of the whole work!). Hear Richter play it here and here.

I read through most of the Debussy book (see below) and then decided I needed a change...so I went onto some Handel! There's nothing like a little Baroque to give you some much-needed simplicity and straightforwardness after playing Debussy for a month. I love these composer series editions by the Frederic Harris Music Company (seen below, and also the whole collection can be found here - I love the clean, solid colors of the covers - it makes me want to buy them all and line them up on a shelf!! Someday...)

I also tried out some Scarlatti sonatas - I really haven't played much Scarlatti and would LOVE to delve more into his sonatas someday. They were a nice read.

For some variety I decided to turn to some Scriabin Preludes - so gorgeous and haunting! These were excellent to read because despite their intricacies they were quite short. I discovered that, just like Chopin, Bach, Shostakovich and others, he wrote 24 Preludes, one in each key. Take a listen to his Prelude in C Major, Op. 11 No. 1, and tell me if it doesn't remind you a bit of Chopin's first prelude in C Major...

Grieg's Lyric Pieces were SO FUN! I love the great variety of his pieces and the scenes and stories they depict. I definitely enjoyed some more than others. One of my favorite sets that I read through was his 6 Lyric Pieces, Op. 43 - I particularly liked No. 1 - Butterfly and No. 4 - Little Bird (and of course No. 6 is a classic!).

I ended with some of the Applause book - which, if you are not familiar with and have teenage students, I would highly recommend that you go out and get a copy now! These pieces are SO much fun to play - I think they are a great way to get your teenage students excited about classical music. Pieces included come from all of the musical periods and are all impressive and showy solos. I especially loved playing Beethoven's Six Ecossaises!

Well I hope that a few of you were also able to hone your sightreading skills this summer, and I hope you also discovered some great pieces! How did your sightreading go? Did you find any pieces that you just LOVE and would like to share? Happy sightreading!


Emily Baird said...

I fell in love with the Debussy Petite Suite that contains En Bateau, Cortege, Menuet, and Ballet. Thanks for the challenge. I adapted it for my students as well as myself.

Melanie said...

I adapted the challenge to my own skill level and posted about it here:


Thanks for the challenge! :)

Olivia said...

I'm a newish reader, and I love your blog! Thanks for sharing all of your fun ideas! I failed miserably at actually getting to 100 pieces, although practice is going much better now that my baby can feed himself! Anyway, I discovered that I loved Beethoven's Opus 126 Bagatelles. They were his last work for piano, and he considered them his greatest. There are six pieces in the collection and I am considering having each of my more advanced students learn one for our recital in addition to another piece. Since Bagatelles are shorter, I think this should be within reach.

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