The modern piano was invented sometime between 1698-1700 by Bartolomeo Cristofori of Italy. Bartolomeo named his invention un cimbalo di cipresso di piano e forte («a keyboard of cypress with soft and loud»), which eventually was abbreviated into “Piano”. Since their invention, they have been used to create some of the most beautiful classical music known to man, and this collection presents you 14 of the most famous pieces ever composed.
Beethoven – Moonlight Sonata
The Moonlight Sonata, a piano sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven, was completed in 1801. In 1802, Beethoven dedicated it to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi.
Debussy – Clair de Lune
The name Clair de lune comes from a poem by Verlaine’s of the same name. It took Debussy 15 years to complete this composition.
Chopin – March Funèbre
Popularly known as The Funeral March, March Funèbre was composed in 1839 by Chopin. However, the third movement, whence comes the sonata’s common nickname, had been composed as early as 1837.
Schumann – Arabeske
Schumann composed the Arabeske in 1839 to express his sadness and longing for his beloved – Clara Wieck. Clara’s father did not approve of their relationship, which resulted in Schumann moving to another city, but his love for Clara never died.
Beethoven – Für Elise
Für Elise is one of Ludwig van Beethoven’s most popular compositions. Composed in 1810, it was only published in 1867 – 40 years after the composer’s death in 1827. The composition was hidden away until Ludwig Nohl found it and gave it back to the world.
Mozart – Rondo Alla Turca
«Alla Turca», popularly known as The Turkish March, is one of Mozart’s most well-known piano pieces. Mozart wanted to imitate the sound of Turkish Janissary bands, which were quite popular at the time.
Liszt – Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
The second in a set of 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt, is considered to be the most famous one. The composition recieved quite a lot of fame thanks to its use in several animated videos and movies.
Rimsky-Korsakov – Flight of the Bumblebee
This composition was written as an orchestral interlude for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan.
Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
Composed by Gershwin in 1924, Rhapsody in Blue uses both jazz and classical element in a way that was not heard before that time. It is the piece that made Gershwin a famous composer.
Beethoven – Sonata Pathétique
Ludwig van Beethoven wrote Sonata Pathétique in 1798 when he was just 27 years old. This composition remains one of his most famous creations to this day.
Chopin – Minute Waltz
The Minute Waltz is a piano waltz composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1874. It is dedicated to the Countess Delfina Potocka, whom Chopin considered to be his muse.
Schumann – Kinderszenen
Kinderszenen was composed in 1838 to represent Schumann’s memories of childhood. The original piece had 30 movements, but the final version kept only 13 of those.
Beethoven – Diabelli Variations Op. 120
The Diabelli Variations was written between 1819 and 1823 by Ludwig van Beethoven, and based on a waltz composed by Anton Diabelli. Diabelli distributed his version of the waltz to several known composers, asking them to write their own variation, but Beethoven went ahead and wrote 33 of them.
Dvořák – Humoresque
Dvořák composed Humoresques on a vacation to Bohemia during the summer of 1894. It is said to be the second-most famous piano composition after Für Elise.