The Scherzo No. 2 in B♭ minor, Op. 31 is a scherzo by Frédéric Chopin. The work was composed and published in 1837, and was dedicated to Countess Adèle Fürstenstein. Robert Schumann compared this scherzo to a Byronic poem, "so overflowing with tenderness, boldness, love and contempt." According to Wilhelm von Lenz, a pupil of Chopin, the composer said that the renowned sotto voce opening was a question and the second phrase the answer: "For Chopin it was never questioning enough, never soft enough, never vaulted (tombe) enough. It must be a charnel-house." Huneker exults, "What masterly writing, and it lies in the very heart of the piano! A hundred generations may not improve on these pages."
The beginning is marked Presto and opens in B♭ minor. However, most of the work is written in D♭ major. The opening to the piece consists of two arpeggiated pianissimo chords, and after a moment's pause, goes into a set of fortissimo chords, before returning to the quiet arpeggiated chords. The piece then goes to an arpeggio section which leads to the con anima. Then, the middle section appears in A major. After the middle section ends (modulating in B flat minor), the first section reappears with a coda.
The piece is heard in the Woody Woodpecker episode "Musical Moments From Chopin". A fragment is also heard in the movie "Witness to murder", 1954, with Barbara Stanwyck.
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in B♭ major, Op. 83, by Johannes Brahms is separated by a gap of 22 years from his first piano concerto. Brahms began work on the piece in 1878 and completed it in 1881 while in Pressbaum near Vienna. It took him three years to work on this concerto which indicates that he was always self-critical. He wrote to Clara Schumann: "I want to tell you that I have written a very small piano concerto with a very small and pretty scherzo." Ironically, he was describing a huge piece. This concerto is dedicated to his teacher, Eduard Marxsen. The public premiere of the concerto was given in Budapest on 9 November 1881, with Brahms as soloist and the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, and was an immediate success. He proceeded to perform the piece in many cities across Europe.
Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 in B♭ major, Op. 106 is a piano sonata that is widely viewed as one of the most important works of the composer's third period and among the greatest piano sonatas of all time. Completed in 1818, it is often considered to be Beethoven's most technically challenging piano composition and one of the most demanding solo works in the classical piano repertoire. The first documented public performance was in 1836 by Franz Liszt in the Salle Erard in Paris.
Frédéric Chopin's Fantaisie-Impromptu in C♯ minor, Op. posth. 66, is a solo piano composition. It was composed in 1834 and published posthumously in 1855 despite Chopin's instruction that none of his unpublished manuscripts be published. The Fantaisie-Impromptu is one of Chopin's most frequently performed and popular compositions.
Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D 759, commonly known as the Unfinished Symphony, is a musical composition that Schubert started in 1822 but left with only two movements—though he lived for another six years. A scherzo, nearly completed in piano score but with only two pages orchestrated, also survives.
Franz Schubert's Impromptus are a series of eight pieces for solo piano composed in 1827. They were published in two sets of four impromptus each: the first two pieces in the first set were published in the composer's lifetime as Op. 90; the second set was published posthumously as Op. 142 in 1839. The third and fourth pieces in the first set were published in 1857. The two sets are now catalogued as D. 899 and D. 935 respectively. They are considered to be among the most important examples of this popular early 19th-century genre.
Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, is a piano sonata in four movements. Chopin completed the work while living in George Sand's manor in Nohant, some 250 km (160 mi) south of Paris, a year before it was published in 1840. The first of the composer's three mature sonatas, the work is considered to be one of the greatest piano sonatas of the literature.
The Piano Sonata No. 18 in E♭ major, Op. 31, No. 3, is an 1802 sonata for solo piano by Ludwig van Beethoven. A third party gave the piece the nickname "The Hunt" due to one of its themes' resemblance to a horn call. A playful jocularity is maintained throughout the piece, but as in many of Beethoven's early works, the jocular style can be heard as a facade, concealing profound ideas and depths of emotion.
The Piano Sonata No. 31 in A♭ major, Op. 110, by Ludwig van Beethoven was composed in 1821. It is the central piano sonata in the group of three, Opp. 109–111, which he wrote between 1820 and 1822, and the thirty-first of his published piano sonatas.
The Nocturnes, Op. 15 are a set of three nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1833. The work was published in January 1834, and was dedicated to Ferdinand Hiller. These nocturnes display a more personal approach to the nocturne form than that of the earlier Opus 9. The melodies and emotional depth of these nocturnes have thus been thought of as more "Chopinesque."
Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1, was written in 1795 and dedicated to Joseph Haydn.
Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, Op. 58, is the last of the composer's piano sonatas. Completed in 1844 and dedicated to Countess Émilie de Perthuis, the work is considered to be one of Chopin's most difficult compositions, both technically and musically.
The Nocturnes, Op. 9 are a set of three nocturnes for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1831 and 1832, published in 1832, and dedicated to Madame Marie Pleyel. These were Chopin's first published set of nocturnes. The second nocturne of the work is often regarded as Chopin's most famous piece.
The Nocturnes, Op. 32 are a set of two nocturnes for solo piano written and published by Frédéric Chopin in 1837. The nocturnes are dedicated to Madame Camile de Billing, and were his 9th and 10th nocturnes published.
The Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20, is a composition for solo piano written by Frédéric Chopin between 1831 and 1832 and dedicated to Thomas Albrecht. The piece begins with the tempo marking Presto con fuoco. The piece is dark, dramatic, and lively. It is complex and considered to be one of Chopin's more difficult works.
The Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8, by Johannes Brahms was completed in January 1854, when the composer was only twenty years old, published in November 1854 and premiered on 13 October 1855 in Danzig. It has often been mistakenly claimed that the first performance had taken place in the United States. Brahms produced a revised version of the work in summer 1889 that shows significant alterations so that it may even be regarded as a distinct (fourth) piano trio. This “New Edition”, as he called it, was premiered on 10 January 1890 in Budapest and published in February 1891.
The Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor, Op. 60, completed by Johannes Brahms in 1875, is scored for piano, violin, viola and cello. It is sometimes called the Werther Quartet after Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther.
The Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25, was composed by Johannes Brahms between 1856 and 1861. It was premiered in 1861 in Hamburg, with Clara Schumann at the piano. It was also played in Vienna on 16 November 1862, with Brahms himself at the piano supported by members of the Hellmesberger Quartet. Like most piano quartets, it is scored for piano, violin, viola and cello.
Mazurkas, Op. 59 are a set of three Mazurkas for solo piano by Frédéric Chopin. The set was composed and published in 1845.
Mazurkas, Op. 17 is a set of four mazurkas for piano by Frédéric Chopin, composed and published between 1832 and 1833. A typical performance of the set lasts about fourteen minutes.
Frédéric Chopin's four scherzos are single-movement pieces for solo piano, composed between 1833 and 1843. They are often linked to Chopin's four ballades, composed in roughly the same period; these exceptional works are examples of large scale autonomous musical pieces, composed within the classical framework, but surpassing previous expressive and technical limitations. Unlike the classical model, the musical form adopted by Chopin is not characterised by humour or elements of surprise, but by highly charged "gestures of despair and demonic energy". Commenting on the first scherzo, Robert Schumann wrote: "How is 'gravity' to clothe itself if 'jest' goes about in dark veils?"