Chopin, a piano hero, is one of the most famous and most talented composers of all time has written over 200 songs in the span of his career. If you are a piano player, you should probably listen to or learn about his pieces.
His music is so timeless that you can perhaps get inspired by his classical riffs and apply it to modern music today.
Before we list down the most famous Chopin pieces, let’s ask ourselves, who is Fryderyk Chopin?
Chopin was born in a Polish family but later acquired French citizenship. He lived from 1810 to 1849, which is pretty short. Chopin started as a child prodigy and composed a lot of grand piano songs that impressed a lot of people.
His compositions were appropriate for the romantic era he lived in. His unique solo piano technique was full of emotion that connected well with his timeline.
Without any lyrics, you could just feel the raw emotions, from joy to sorrow.
He specializes in various types of music, such as:
Most Famous Chopin Pieces
Now that you have an idea on what kind of niches Chopin excels in, here are some of his best work that you can listen to right now:
Waltz in D-flat Major, Op. 64, No. 1, The Minute Waltz
Waltz in D-flat Major is, without a doubt, one of Chopin's most recognizable waltz compositions. It has a lively tempo with the inclusion of nuances from using the sustain pedal throughout the song. The talent and creativity put into this song made it one of the most famous songs in the world for generations.
24 Preludes, Op. 28
Chopin has created and written some of the best preludes. His preludes have dominated the piano music field for decades and still continues to be a go-to choice for recitals all over the globe.
Preludes are short intro pieces followed by a longer song. However, Chopin did an excellent job of piecing together a collection of preludes to make a seamless piece that is very pleasing to the ear.
Chopin had a muse, and they both enjoyed folk music, which eventually became an inspiration to his song Barcarolle. Although Chopin was Polish, Barcarolle was inspired by Italian folk music and has become one of the most popular songs in Venice, Italy.
When you listen to the track, you will notice that they are inspired by various Italian instruments and sounds, sounding like an Italian opera. Barcarolle is very unique and different from his other pieces.
A Young Girl’s Wish, A Polish Traditional Song
This next song shows Chopin's love for Polish folk culture. “A Young Girl's Wish” is Chopin's way of contributing and showing his passion for Polish culture by creating music with the use of traditional Polish poetry.
This song is based on a poem by Stefan Witwicki that follows a story of a young, pleasant girl who was in love with a man.
Etude Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor, The Revolutionary Etude
Etudes Op. 10 is the last piece of his first set. It was written in 1831 during the Polish uprising to protest against Bolshevik authorities.
Chopin used brilliant and creative techniques that describe the moment. He uses harmonies to depict his troubled mind that has something to do with the current conditions of his country.
Etudes Op. 10 is dedicated to his friend, Franz Liszt. This composition truly showcases Chopin’s incredible musical talent.
Ballade No. 1 in G minor
Just like Etudes Op. 10, Ballade No. 1 in G Minor also has dramatic and deep tones.
He wrote this piece at the age of 21 with the use of lilting rhythms. It is more of a progressive song that contains a lot of interruptions and transitioning themes throughout the song.
Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53, The Heroic Polonaise
Finally, this last piece I added on the list is associated with his love for his country. It is a song about patriotism, independence, and national pride.
This song is a challenging piece to play on the piano as it consists of technically advanced runs. The song gets its nickname from the French Novel, The Vigor! The Strength! The Inspiration!
It was written during the 1848 French Revolution, and since then, Polonaise is deemed to be a symbol of heroism.
- Do you have to know how to read notes to become a better piano player?
No, to become a great piano player, you need to practice. Practicing the same riff over and over again will develop your muscle memory. Whether you learned to play by reading notes or play by ear, practice and discipline are vital to become a better piano player.
- Aside from Chopin, who are the other piano players, I should look up for inspiration?
Aside from Chopin, you can also listen to classical greats such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
All of them had fantastic classical compositions that could inspire you to become a better piano musician, no matter what genre you are into.
Frederic Chopin is one of the best composers and piano players ever to be born.
Without him and his contributions to music, who knows what have become of the modern composers of today.
His music had a significant impact on generations of musicians that continue up to this day.