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Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire, Fourth Edition

Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire, Fourth Edition

by Maurice Hinson, Wesley Roberts

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Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire continues to be the go-to source for piano performers, teachers, and students. Newly updated and expanded with over 250 new composers, this incomparable resource expertly guides readers to solo piano literature. What did a given composer write? What interesting work have I never heard of? How difficult is it? What are its


Guide to the Pianist’s Repertoire continues to be the go-to source for piano performers, teachers, and students. Newly updated and expanded with over 250 new composers, this incomparable resource expertly guides readers to solo piano literature. What did a given composer write? What interesting work have I never heard of? How difficult is it? What are its special musical features? How can I reach the publisher? It’s all here. Featuring information for more than 2,000 composers, the fourth edition includes enhanced indexes. The new "Hinson" will be an indispensable guide for many years to come.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an indispensable tool to any piano performer or student desiring to widen their musical horizons." —La Lettre du Musicien

"This guide by Hinson... has been regarded as the leading English-language reference tool for solo piano literature since it was first published in 1973. Each succeeding edition has expanded in scope and quality.... Highly recommended." —Choice

Nelita True

"The release of any book by Maurice Hinson (this time with co-author Wesley Roberts) is a major event, especially in the piano world. This Fourth Edition of Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire represents an accomplishment of staggering proportion, with over 1200 pages, more than 300 pages longer than the Third Edition. Dr. Hinson describes it as an updated ‘practical listing of the important piano literature,’ but it offers significantly more than that. In addition to the inestimable value of finding little known works, the reader also benefits from the lucid descriptions and practical information about piano music from 1700 to the present. This ‘Guide’ is an extraordinary resource for anyone devoted to the rich repertoire for the piano." —Nelita True, Eastman School of Music

American Reference Books Annual

"[T]his volume, as its predecessors, is excellent for piano teachers planning recitals." —American Reference Books Annual

Product Details

Indiana University Press
Publication date:
Indiana Repertoire Guides Series
Edition description:
Fourth Edition
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6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 2.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire

By Maurice Hinson, Wesley Roberts

Indiana University Press

Copyright © 2014 Maurice Hinson Wesley Roberts
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01023-0


Part I

Individual Composers

Their Solo Piano Works in Various Editions and Facsimile Reproductions


Marcello Abbado (1926– ) Italy

Abbado studied at the Milan Conservatory with Ghedini and has served as principal conductor and music director of the London Symphony Orchestra. He is the brother of conductor Claudio Abbado. Variations on a Minuet by J. S. Bach (BWV Anh. 121) 1951 (Zerboni 1953) 15pp. 12½ min. Var. I: two voices, chromatic, contrary motion between the hands. Var. II: Con decisione, rhythmic, chromatic. Var. III: Lento, full arpeggiated chords plus right-hand trills and tremolando, wide keyboard range. Var. IV: Scorrevole, veiled and subdued, melody transferred between the hands. Var. V: Allegro, hammered repeated chords, large span required, chords move over wide range of keyboard. Var. VI: Molto allegro, widely spaced two-note chords skipping over keyboard. Minuetto: Largamente, pointillistic, final eight measures suggest rising line of Bach minuet, build to large climax. M-D to D.

Louis Abbiate (1866–1933) France

Trois Pièces 1918 (Jobert 1980) 13pp. 1. Prélude; 2. Romance; 3. Diabolique. Post-Romantic style, with No.3 showing some Prokofiev influence. Large span required. M-D.

Sonata No.4 Op.48 1925 (Jobert 1981) 31pp. In three movements. Allegretto con moto un poco barcarola: SA, many triadic figures. Cavatina: melodic writing suggests Chopin. Vivace: triadic use in a typically French toccata style. The roots of this work stretch back to Beethoven, with a mixture of the "heroics" of Romantic composers and the less extroverted style of the Impressionists. Conservative but effective writing. Worth investigating. M-D.

Johann Joseph Abert (1832–1915) Germany

Abert was known during his lifetime as a double bassist and conductor, and composed primarily operas, orchestral, and chamber music.

Trauermarsch 1866 (W. Hader—Laurentius 003 2004) 8pp. First edition. Composed at the zenith of Romanticism in music, Abert's short march in ternary form makes much use of octaves and declamatory effects. Preface in German. M-D.

Hans Abrahamsen (1952– ) Denmark Abrahamsen teaches at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and composes in an individualist style stemming from the late twentieth century.

7 Studier (WH) 17pp. Entitled: Traumlied; Sturm; Arabeske; Ende; Boogie-Woogie; For the Children; Blues. Studies take the character of their titles, generally tonal with altered harmonies. Performers and audiences will especially enjoy Boogie-Woogie with its Presto tempo and changing meters. Score is facsimile of manuscript; sometimes difficult to read, but with suggestive fingerings. M-D.

Jean Absil (1893–1974) Belgium

Many of Absil's earlier works were written in a conventional idiom, but in later years Absil turned to a more personal, austere style. Unconventional rhythmic procedure was the norm in his writing. See anthologies of Belgian composers for other works.

Échecs: Suite Op.96 1956 (CeBeDeM) 16 min. In six movements. 1. Le Roi; 2. La Reine; 3. Le Fou; 4. La Tour; 5. Les Pions; 6. Les Cavaliers: effective toccata. Much variety and contrast. M- D.

Passacaille Op.101 1959 (CeBeDeM) 10pp. In memoriam Alban Berg. Required piece for the 1960 Queen Elisabeth Competition. Chromatic theme and twenty variations treated in various ways. A few variations are relieved by short episodes. A calm and expressive mood is characteristic of the four middle variations, while a brilliant coda concludes the work. D.

Six Bulgarian Dances Op.102 (Lemoine). Dances in ternary or variation form. Bartók influence. Driving rhythms, unusual dissonances over stable tonalities, whimsical. See especially No.6. Int.

Sonatine Op.125 1966 (Metropolis) 7pp. In three movements. Allegro moderato: fresh harmonies, clever rhythms. Pavane: imitative with mildly dissonant chords. Tarentelle: 6/8, dancelike, fleeting, attractive. Int.

Pastourelle 1958 (Lemoine) 2pp. Accompanied melody, mildly twentieth-century. Int.

See: Kathleen Cooper Vadala, The Concert Works of Jean Absil for Solo Piano: A Performance Tape and Stylistic Analysis (DMA document, University of Maryland, College Park, 1986), 132pp.

Motohiko Adachi (1940– ) Japan

Per Pianoforte (Zen-On 412 1978) 27pp. Accordo: Ostinato; Monodia. Complex rhythms, highly organized, clusters, aleatoric, avant-garde. D.

Daniel A. d'Adamo (1966– ) France, born Argentina

D'Adamo studied in Buenos Aires and Lyon, and has already received several prizes for his compositions, including the Prix de Rome. He has lived in France since 1991.

Carta Segreta 2001 (Billaudot 2002) 24pp. 13 min. In one movement, emancipating from Expressionism with scalar formations, proportional rhythmic relationships, dramatic qualities, sudden dynamic changes, and dense harmonic structures. Challenging. D.


George Adams (1904–1959) USA

Sonata b 1959 (CFP 6232) 14 min. A three-movement (FSF) work written by a versatile hand. Tonal, dramatic, full sonorities. M-D.

John Adams (1947– ) USA

One of the most successful composers of the late twentieth century, Adams writes in an elegant minimalist style influenced by the popular vernacular and by European mainstream art.

China Gates 1977 (AMP 7859–21983; in American Contemporary Masters, GS 1995). Evolving patterns that should be soft and resonant throughout, never exceeding mf. Both hands should be equalized so no line is ever louder than another. Pedals should be held throughout each passage until the next gate (change of mode) occurs; minimalistic music. M-D to D.

Phrygian Gates 1977–78 (AMP 7860–2 1983) 61pp. Gradually evolving patterns; special attention should be given to equalizing the volume of both hands so that no single pattern ever dominates another. Minimalistic music. M-D to D.

American Berserk 2001 (Hendon 2007) 15pp. 6 min. Inspired by Philip Roth's novel American Pastoral (1997); Adams notes that the work "hints at the darker, manic edge of American life. Influences of American jazz and bop playing mixed with impressions of Conlon Nancarrow's disjunct rhythmic world dominate the writing of this short, manic, bipolar scherzo" (www.earbox.com/w-americanberserk; July 12, 2010). An action-packed, intense, bitonal work requiring a sense of freedom within precise rhythms, mixed meters, and constant drive. D.

See: Kyle Fyr, Proportion, Temporality, and Performance Issues in Piano Works of John Adams (PhD diss., Indiana University, 2011), 252pp.


Thomas Adès (1971– ) England

Adès has received considerable recognition for his works and became the recipient of the prestigious Ernst von Siemens Prize and the Grawemeyer Award before the age of thirty.

Still Sorrowing Op.7 1992 (Faber 1992) 6pp. 9 min. For prepared piano; assistant needed. Score is copy of manuscript, written on three to four staves. Shows influence of Webern but moves on to proportional rhythmic relations, denser harmonic relationships, and complete use of the keyboard. D.

Darknesse Visible: After John Dowland 1992 (Faber 1998) 5pp. 7 min. "This piece is an explosion of John Dowland's lute song 'In Darknesse Let Mee Dwell' (1610). No notes have been added; indeed, some have been removed. Patterns latent in the original have been isolated and regrouped, with the aim of illuminating the song from within, as if during the course of a performance" (title-page comment by composer). Individual lines are printed in colors to show voicing and timbres. M-D.

Traced Overhead Op.15 1995–96 (Faber 1997) 24pp. 12 min. In three movements: Sursum; Aetheria; Chori. Inspired by the Latin terms suggesting "upward" in the opening movement, "ascent" in the second, and "layer upon layer" in the third. Highly detailed damper- pedaling markings indicate degrees of use by quarters. Expressionist in concept with complicated rhythmic procedures. Must be able to reach a ninth. D.

Samuel Adler (1928– ) USA, born Germany

Adler's works display enormous rhythmic vitality. He taught at the Eastman School of Music from 1966 until 1995 and is the composer of over 400 published works.

Capriccio 1954 (in New Music for the Piano, LG). Flexible meters and tonal centers, cross-relations, polymodality. Makes a fine one-minute encore. Int. to M-D.

Triptych for Dancing 1958 (AMC). Changing meters, colorful, three-sectioned, polytonal. Large span required. M-D.

Sonata Brève 1963 (OUP 1967) 22pp. 11 min. In three movements. Allegro grazioso: Adagio con delicatezza; Allegro di bravura. Contrapuntal, freely tonal. Large span required; needs mature pianism. M-D.

Gradus: Forty Studies 1971 (OUP). Books I and II. Twenty studies in each volume that explore contemporary techniques. Volume II is more difficult than I. Notes explain each study. Int. to M-D.

Canto VIII 1973 (CF) 5 min. String effects inside piano, harmonics. Quiet introduction is exploded by torrents of octaves, clusters, stopped notes—all make this a fun avant-garde concert etude. D.

See: David Burge, "Five New Pieces," CK 3 (December 1977): 66.

Gradus III 1979 (OUP 1981). Twenty pieces illustrating twentieth-century techniques including clusters, string strumming, harmonics, twelve-tone pieces. Excellent etudes. M-D.

Sonatina 1979 (GS E-3468) 20pp. In three movements. Fast and brilliant: a broad-gestured introduction leads to section "even a bit faster"; varied textures, including tremolo clusters; broad- gestured coda. Slow and very gently moving: melodic, section "like a chant, very freely moving 8ths," octotonic faster section, slow-moving coda. Very fast (perpetual motion): perform as fast as possible, "make certain the 8th-notes are not all equal," carefully pedaled, brilliant, all over keyboard, coda "Fast, but heavily." D.

The Sense of Touch 1981 (TP 1983) 11pp. 12 min. Eight short pieces that introduce the young pianist to twentieth-century idioms. Int.

The Song Expands My Spirit (TP 1983) 7pp. 4 min. Slow lyric introduction leads to main part of piece, which is energetic and introduces two new tunes. Enthusiastic ending. Short, colorful, brilliant. M-D.

The Road to Terpsichore 1988 (GS 3774) 24pp. 12½ min. A suite of dances. 1. Fast and Wild. 2. Free, quite relaxed, but stately. 3. Like a waltz. 4. Like a Tango, with verve, and very rhythmic. 5. Like a Tarantella, fast and furious. Strong rhythms, fairly thin textures, contrasting, mildly twentieth-century. M-D.

Three Piano Preludes 1999–2000 (CF PL 125 2006) 15pp. Rushing Waters; Dream Sequence; Paradelle. Written for virtuosi pianists who are friends of the composer. "These are 'occasional' pieces which are character studies, not so much studies of the pianist for whom they were written, but studies that explore moods and paint pictures through the medium of the piano, in the spirit of the Preludes for Piano by Claude Debussy" (from program notes). M-D.

Four Composer Portraits 2001–2 (TP 2006) 16pp. 8 min. Birthday cards for solo piano: I. Milton [Babbitt]; II. Ned [Rorem]; III. Gunther [Schuller]; David [Diamond]. Themes derived from an extended musical alphabet. D.

Festschrift (TP 2007) 11pp. To celebrate W. John Williams's teaching career at the University of South Carolina. In one continuous movement, commencing Slowly and lyrically, and quickly moving into a Fast tempo, mostly in two voices. M-D.

See: Bradford Gowen, "Samuel Adler's Piano Music," AMT 25 (January 1976): 6–8.

Mei-Yuk Tang, Pedagogical Works for Piano by Samuel Adler (PhD diss., Texas Tech University, 2003), 268pp.


Denes Agay (1911–2007) USA, born Hungary

Agay's style was conservatively modern, freely tonal, and full of harmonic surprises. He knew how to write for the instrument; not one gesture seems contrived or dictated by formula.

Concertino Barocco (GS 1975) 15pp. Based on themes of Handel. Three contrasting movements, delightful. Int.

15 Little Pieces on Five-Note Patterns (BMC 1973). Great variety of five-finger positions. Easy to Int.

Four Dance Impressions (TP 1977) 6½ min. Night Music; Vibrations; Ballad without Words; Hommage à Joplin. Chromatic, strong rhythms, mildly twentieth-century, sophisticated. Int. to M-D.

The Joy of the Music of Denes Agay (Yorktown 1980) 64pp. Twenty-four pieces from early published works to new compositions that illustrate Agay's attractive style and the great variety of his creative approaches, including distillations of popular idioms dating from the 1940s. Easy to Int.

Mosaics 1968 (MCA) 21pp. 12½ min. Six Piano Pieces on Hebrew Folk Themes, consisting of five short pieces followed by a set of eleven variations over an eight-bar melody that progresses to a brilliant but not too demanding climax. Beautifully laid out for the piano. M-D.

Petit Trianon Suite (GS). Ten tuneful short pieces in classic dance forms. M; S; Contredanse; Musette; etc. Easy.

Serenata Burlesca 1968 (Bo&H) 7pp. 2½ min. Cross-rhythms, chromatic lines, brilliant closing. Int.

Sonatina Hungarica (MCA 1967) 19pp. 9½ min. In three movements: Scena; Serenata; Rondo. Changing meters, quartal harmony, cadenza passages, well put together, attractive. Int.

Two Improvisations on Hungarian Folk Songs (TP 1973) 7pp. 4 min. The Peacock. Gipsy Tune: modal, more fetching of the two, attractive. Int.

4 Popular Diversions (TP 1984) 12pp. Little Prelude in Waltz Time. Baroque Bounce. Echoes of the Blues. Ragtime Doll. Clever, contrasting, colorful. Int.

Klaus Ager (1936– ) Austria

Sounds in the Evening Haze Op.38 1983 (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eigenverleger 87101 1987) 12pp. In one movement with two broad sections. Clusters, counting time by seconds, proportional rhythmic relationships, and complete use of the keyboard characterize this largely complicated work. Requires large span. D.

Maria Teresa d'Agnesi Pinottini (1720–1795) Italy

Agnesi was best known as an opera composer in European courts.

Two Pieces for Solo Piano or Harpsichord (Harbach—Vivace) 12pp. Contains a Sonata in G and Allegro ou Presto: hand crossings and arpeggios, Scarlatti-like. M-D.

Drei Sonaten (F. Zimmermann—Tonger 2962–1 1999) 32pp. Three Sonatas cast in FSF form in G, F, G. Attractive Style Galant works requiring finger dexterity and clarity. Sportive in figuration and passagework. M-D.

Roy Agnew (1891–1944) Australia

Agnew was the most outstanding of early twentieth-century Australian composers. His music was written in a unique style strongly influenced by Romantic-Impressionistic tendencies.

Piano Works, Vol. I (Keys Press 1997) 21pp. Australian Forest Pictures: six colorful character pieces. Youthful Fancies: four pedagogical pieces, attractive. Int.

The Six Sonatas for Piano (L. Sitsky—Keys Press 1997) 127pp. Introduction by R. Crews. Symphonic Poème; Fantasie Sonata; Sonata (1929); Sonata Poem; Sonata Ballade; Sonata Legend (Capricornia).

See: Rita Crews, An Analytical Study of the Piano Works of Roy Agnew, Margaret Sutherland and Dulcie Holland, including Biographical Material (diss., University of New England, Armidale, 1994).

Guido Agosti (1901–1989) Italy

Agosti wrote in a mildly contemporary style strongly influenced by Ravel. He was an outstanding pianist and teacher. Zubin Mehta and Carlo Maria Giulini studied with Agosti.

Cinque Bagatelle Op.5 1941 (SZ). 10pp. Scorrevole. Lento. Presto. Marcia Funebre per Bobolino. Allegro vivace. Grateful tonal writing, Impressionistic, varied moods. M-D.

Prelude and Toccata Op.7 1942 (SZ). Slow, expressive Prelude e, pp closing leads to short, brilliant Toccata E, somewhat in Ravel's style. D.


Excerpted from Guide to the Pianist's Repertoire by Maurice Hinson, Wesley Roberts. Copyright © 2014 Maurice Hinson Wesley Roberts. Excerpted by permission of Indiana University Press.
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Meet the Author

Maurice Hinson is Senior Professor of Piano at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and was founding editor of the Journal of the American Liszt Society.

Wesley Roberts is Professor of Music at Campbellsville University.

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