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The 10 most beautiful concertos accessible to amateur pianists

Written By
Gwenn Daniel
About the author
Passionate about music from her childhood, Gwenn Daniel studied the piano at the conservatoire while also maintaining a steady stream of musical activities beyond this. This young piano teacher's constant lively curiosity encourages us to discover music from all eras and in all styles. She is now putting her literary and musical talents to the service of Tomplay and enjoys helping you discover the history of the great classics and guiding you through the vast choice of scores offered by Tomplay.
Date published
08/02/2019
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The 10 most beautiful concertos accessible to amateur pianists

When thinking about a piano concerto, it can be difficult to know which easy concertos to start with, or even how to choose the movement which suits you best. This is why we have drawn up a non-exhaustive list of concerto movements in order to guide you in this choice, whether you are an amateur pianist or a teacher wishing to tackle a concerto with one of your pupils.

For each movement, we have included the link to the corresponding interactive score, allowing you to work on the piano part accompanied by a professional recording of the orchestra.  

concertos

Mozart: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488

Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Mozart began working on writing this concerto while he was in Vienna.  Having been composed in 1786, the work is contemporary with his opera, The Marriage of Figaro. It has become a real “hit” nowadays and is used abundantly in film scores and advertising, but nevertheless has lost nothing of its beauty and musical quality. It has been interpreted by the greatest pianists such as Vladimir Horowitz, Hélène Grimaud, Arthur Rubinstein and Murray Perahia. It has been played by orchestras led by the most prestigious conductors. When talking about Mozart’s Olivier Messaien concluded that it is “the most perfect of all, if not the most beautiful”.

For the sublime second movement of this Concerto, the Adagio, Mozart chose a ternary form and created a dialogue between the piano and first violin, illustrating a nostalgic swaying motion close to despair, but where light continues to pierce its way through.

The notation of the Adagio is relatively easy to read; moreover, this movement invites the player to work on interpretation, imposing precise fingering with the aim of rendering the most delicate nuances. Placing the use of the pedal is also interesting, without being too complex. Some bars are even an open invitation to improvisation, of which Mozart was himself a fervent adept.

Don’t hesitate to download the sublime, slow and technically accessible 2nd movement of Mozart’s Concerto n° 23 via the Tomplay application. The application offers you many tools for optimising your learning: make notes on your score, adapt the tempo to work at your own rhythm or repeat bars over and over again. When you feel ready, go for it and take advantage of the orchestra recording synchronised with the score to accompany you!

 

Bach: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1042

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Bach found the inspiration for writing some of his works in Vivaldi’s Concertos for violin, Opus 3 in particular. This is the case with the Concerto n° 2 in E Major, a strong and poignant work.

The movement we advise you to tackle is, here again, an Adagio and the difficulties of notation and interpretation are quite similar. Playing this movement will call more on the flexibility of your left hand as it is this which leads the melody on the piano in response to the violin.

With the accompaniment of a string orchestra recorded on a very high-quality audio track, you will have the option of recording yourself and printing your annotated score if you wish. An opportunity to become familiar with the art of ornamentation - produced in our score - which was so dear to Johann Sebastien Bach!

 

Beethoven: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 5 in E flat Major, Op.73

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Written at almost the same time as his 5th and 6th symphonies, this is the last of five piano concertos composed by Beethoven. It was begun in 1808 while Austria was preparing to go to war against Napoleon and the composition of the concerto was even halted during the invasion of Austria by the Great French Army. Some draft pages are moreover annotated with words such as “song of triumph”, “attack” or “victory”, reflecting the war-like atmosphere of the time.

Using the Tomplay application, you will be able to tackle the 2nd Adagio un poco mosso movement. Contrary to the rest of the work, which is judged to be very heroic, this part in E Flat Major is quite lyrical and contrasts with the rest of the work. In this slow movement, the high-quality audio recording will allow you to blend your interpretation with the orchestra to unfold a richly embroidered melody, close to meditation.

Thanks to the technology of the Tomplay application, you will be able to play the movement accompanied by a professional orchestra! You will also be able to adapt the tempo to your progress in interpreting the score, useful for working on the many rises and falls in this sublime movement, and look again at the bars you’re not happy with by activating the “loop” function. 

 

Ravel: 2nd movement of Concerto in G Major, M. 83

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Created in the fabulous Salle Pleyel in Paris in 1932, Maurice Ravel’s Concerto in G Major is his penultimate finished work. As with his Concerto for the Left Hand, it was written in fulfilment of an order from the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and was composed over two years. Although established according to the characteristics of the canons of the classical era, this concerto contains many references to jazz and remains to this day one of the most often played pieces by Ravel.

Tomplay offers you a high-quality recording of the orchestral score to accompany your interpretation of the second Adagio assai movement. You begin the movement by playing a long and expressive melody before the orchestra unobtrusively joins you in the 34th bar of this virtuoso contemplative work full of the delicate colours which are so special to Ravel.

As far as rhythm is concerned, the organisation of the ¾ bar time can pose some difficulties for the youngest pupils. The metronome built in to the application will be very useful for them, allowing them to place the accents in the best way to create an impression of duple time and will help them master the waltz movement with the left hand, while their right hand is trying to put them off.  

 

Haydn: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 11 in D Major 

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Composed around the end of the 1770s for clavichord or pianoforte, Joseph Haydn’s Concerto n° 11 was only published in Paris in 1784. Although no original score remains of the whole concerto, the two cadences of the 1st and 2nd movements still available are those played at the time by the composer himself.

Moreover, it is with the Poco Adagio cadence that the Tomplay application allows you to practise, accompanied by an orchestra and via a quality play-along recording. Thanks to the score which scrolls on your tablet, you can be totally immersed in the music and you can get help or find inspiration from the professional recording of the work available in the score. Dive into the era of the classical concerto through the interpretation of this second slow movement!

Bach: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 4 in A Major, BWV 1055

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Contrary to many other concertos by Bach, the themes of Concerto n° 4 are not reprised from earlier compositions. In this concerto in three movements written originally for the clavichord, string orchestra and continuo, it is the very expressive and melancholic ternary Larghetto in F Sharp Minor which is accessible, even for practising pianists.

Quite close to a movement “a la siciliano”, without having the typical rhythm of this type of movement, the Larghetto will give you the opportunity to work in more detail on its expressiveness with the possibility offered by the Tomplay application of recording yourself and listening back. Being supported in your efforts by a quality orchestral recording, which encourages you to hold the tempo and also improve your interpretation of the work, is a good way of making progress and enjoying practising. 

Bach: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 6 in F Major, BWV 1057

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

This baroque concerto for clavichord, two recorders, strings and bass is in fact a transcription of one of the famous Brandenburg concertos, n° 4 in G Major. It is the only concerto for clavichord whose accompaniment is not limited to the strings, as we can hear, in particular, the very important recorder part.

You can play along with this instrument during your interpretation of the Andante, the second movement in D Minor. The Tomplay application allows you to annotate your score to practise better before playing it with the string orchestra, continuo and the 2 recorders. Don’t panic at the regular and continuous sequence of crochets, the Tomplay application gives you the possibility of slowing down or accelerating the tempo and accompaniment in order to adapt to your abilities and progress.

 

Mozart: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 12 in A Major, K. 414

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

As part of a cycle of three early concertos, the concerto n° 12 in A Major is a concerto for piano and orchestra which Mozart wrote in Vienna in the autumn of 1782. Beginning with a long orchestral introduction, the slow Andante movement will allow pianists to get to know the demands and perfection of the classical concerto and to play a work where the soloist must play his part with talent.

In this movement, Mozart showcases the piano by giving it a quite technical and brilliant score where the many expressive solos remain accessible to intermediate level players. For example, there are many trills which you can perfect through your practice with Tomplay, thanks to the integrated tool which allows you to decrease the tempo. It is precision work which will be motivated by the pleasure of practising with the accompaniment of a live orchestral recording

Mozart: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467 

Click here to create your Tomplay account and discover the free score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Composed three years after the concerto listed above, Mozart’s concerto n° 21 is also a famous page in the work of the classical composer, in particular his second movement in F Major. Pianists have precisely 104 bars to immerse themselves in this peaceful and majestic Andante.

This movement, which is often used in film scores, will give young players the chance to practise the art of Mozartian modulation while being accompanied by 1 flute, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 French horns, 2 trumpets, tympani and a string quartet. In this Andante, sustained by a regular sequence of triplets played on muted strings, the pianist plays a cantilena which modulates no less than 20 times in 100 bars. There is no reason to worry about finding these changes in tone, however: the Tomplay application allows you to annotate the sharps and flats and all the accidentals in just one click on your score and to repeat the toughest bars again and again. You can then print your score or start the automatic scrolling of the staves directly from the application before playing with the high-quality orchestral track.

The 2nd movement of Mozart’s Concerto n° 21 is available free on Tomplay. Simply create an account by clicking here and use the interactive score free of charge in your account! 

Bach: 2nd movement of Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, BWV 1052 

• Click here to discover the score with the orchestra to accompany you!

Deriving certainly from a score originally written for violin, the Concerto n° 1 by Johann Sebastian Bach uses themes borrowed from several instrumental sections from his cantatas BWV 146 and BWV 188. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, son of Johann Sebastian Bach, also worked on re-writing this score before his father took it up again and finished it around 1738.

In the second movement of this concerto, calmness reigns after a very lively Allegro. The orchestra lulls us in its muted colours, while the piano brings a touch of lightness and nonchalance.

In playing the Adagio with the Tomplay application, pianists will enjoy the quite mysterious, even meditative, character of the score. The melodic clavichord part contains many ornamentations and embellishments which give it an important role, and to ensure the proper placement of your baroque ornamentations, there is nothing better than the metronome built into the application. As you progress, you will be able to speed up the tempo of the whole orchestra to obtain the ideal “Ruhig” - Adagio - which Johann Sebastian Bach wanted (between 60 and 80 beats per minute). Don’t hesitate to be inspired by the professional recording of the piano part to support you in establishing the rhythm, as well as the interpretation. 

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  • Pianiste1992
    10/12/2018
    Très intéressant!
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  • 10/12/2018
    très intéressant
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  • Martina A. Catella
    13/12/2018
    Superbe initiative
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  • Martina A. Catella
    13/12/2018
    Superbe initiative
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