Romantic (and 20th Century+) Repertoire

In general, there are two meanings of the word 'romantic'. Talking about it with my students (to prepare for our group lesson on 11/2/23), 'romantic' seems to mean warm, beautiful, loving, good feeling, dreamy, calming, passionate; more or less something in this category.

The other meaning of 'romantic' is related to the artistic movement in Europe which was roughly around 1800-1900. Some key words: emphasis on the individuals, nature, emotion; inspired by 'Sturm und Drang'; more program music, more social/political/nationalistic influences in the music; exploring bigger range of sound and intensity giving birth to more virtuosi. Read more about it here:

We're going to use both meanings loosely, and the period will also cover 20th century and 21th century music next to the romantic-period as an art movement around 1800-1900.

A student calls Einaudi's Una Mattina 'romantic' because it feels like a love letter, he said. When I was a teenager, I found JS Bach's Siciliano -from the flute and harpsichord sonata- 'very romantic' because in my fantasy, it would make a perfect background music for a perfect first kiss ;)) Personally I also notice that harp-like pieces sound 'romantic'; many angels in the 'romantic-style' paintings also play harp. To begin learning to play the piano, harp-like pieces can be effectief, they are often musically satisfying and "not so difficult" to play because both hands play by turn.

Many students associate Debussy with 'romantic' music and they actually meant 'very beautiful'. The way I play Bach according to some colleagues is 'romantic' and fortunately some also call it 'inspiring' :-) Even with composers we don't associate quickly to 'beautiful, warm' kind of 'romantic', we can experience their music as such too.

Above all, we often don't need labeling, and just want to experience and enjoy music no matter what it is called, at least I do.

How about you?

Here is a list of the Romantic-Period and 20th Century+ Repertoire I'd love to teach. Some of my references - besides my personal preferences- are the Suzuki books, Mastering the Piano books, The Pianissimo Series (Piano Picollo, Fur Elise & Liebestraum), and Jane Magrath's The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature.

Some repertoire ideas:

Louis Köhler (1820–1886)

Op. 190 no. 27, 30, 31 (Piano Picollo)

Heinrich Lichner (1829-1898)

A short story (Suzuki 2)

Jean-Baptiste Duvernoy (1802 – 1880)

Op. 176

Frédéric Burgmüller (1806-1874)

Op. 100

Op. 109

Stephen Heller (1813-1888)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

See: The Beethoven Method

F. Schubert (1797-1828)

Impromptu op. 90

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847)

Scherzo op. 16 no. 2

Songs Without Words op. 19 no. 1-6

Gondola Song in F#m, op. 30/6 - (Suzuki 6)

Gondola Song in Gm, op. 19/6 (ABRSM 6)

Robert Schumann (1810–1856)

Album for the Youth op. 68

Kinderscenes op. 15




Hungarian Dance no. 5 in F#m

F. Chopin (1810–1849)

Waltz - op. 18 in Eb; op. 34 no. 2 in Am; op. 64 no. 1, 2, 3; op. 69 no. 1,2; op. 70 no. 2; Posthumous in Am, in Em

Nocturnes - Posthumous in Emi, Cmi, C#m; op. 9 no. 1, 2, 3; op. 27 no. 2; op. 55 no. 1, 2



Impromptu - Impromptu no. 1 in Ab, Fantasie Impromptu

Funeral March (from Sonata no. 2 in Bb minor)

Etudes - Trois Nouvelles Etudes no. 1, 2, 3

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907)

op. 12

op. 38

op. 57/2 - Gade

op. 43/1 - Butterfly

op. 54/3 - March of the Trolls

op. 65/6 - Wedding day at Troldhaugen

P. Tjaikovsky

Children's Album op. 39


F. Liszt

Romance in Emi



The Lark


Prelude in D, op. 23 no. 4

Prelude in C# minor

C. Debussy

Children's Corner: Dr. Gradus ad Parnasum, The Little Sheperd

The Little Negro


Arabesques no. 1, 2

Preludes: La fille aux cheveux de lin, Ministrels

Suite Bargamasque: Clair de Lune, Passepied

Erik Satie (1866–1925)

Trois Gymnopedies (1888)

Trois Gnossiennes (1890)

Gnossiennes no. 4-6 (postuum publication in 1968)

Sonatine Bureaucratique (1917)

Ettore Pozzoli (1873-1957)

Sonatine facili nello stile classico no. 1


Harp Prelude


Children's Notebook op 69: March, Waltz


op. 39

op. 27

Sonatina in C op. 13 no. 1


Children Book

Sonatina in C (1958)


For Children

Rumanian Folk Dances

J. Andriessen (1925 - 1996)

Drie dansen: Allegro vivace, Adagio, Presto

Sat, 04 February 2023