10 piano pieces perfect for intermediate and advanced players

09 April 2020
By Ellie Palmer
man playing piano 8 challenging piano pieces to help kickstart your 2019
Add some of these gorgeous pieces to your piano repertoire

These beautiful advanced-level piano pieces are all available to download from our own sheet music store.


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1. Chopin: Fantasie-Impromptu Op 66

Sheet music

Remarkably, this piece of music was not published until after Chopin’s death. There is a theory that it bared too much resemblance to another piece -Impromptu (Op 89) by Ignaz Moscheles. Additionally, it was published against Chopin’s wishes: he had instructed that none of his unpublished works be released.

Whilst this piece was never intended for our ears, but we are eternally grateful that we have access to it!



2. Rachmaninov: Elégie

Sheet music

This piece is the first of the five Morceaux de fantaisie. The word Elégie translates into Elegy in English, meaning, ‘a poem of serious reflection, usually a lament for the dead’. So, approach this piece with feeling. Try and connect with the music as much as you can, and play it with the emotion Rachmaninov intended it to be played with.



3. Liszt: Un sospiro

Sheet music

What a glorious opening passage this piece offers us. Those free-flowing arpeggios are enough to convince you to work on mastering this challenging piece. Famous for its hand crossing melody, Un sospiro is the last of the Three Concert Etudes S 144.



4. Satie: Je te veux

Sheet music

Play this piece in the right way and you’ll find yourself transported back to a Parisian bar in the early 1900s with a whiskey in your hand. Translating to ‘I want you’ in English, the melodies within Je te veux do carry a bit of a romantic feel to them. This really is a piece to enjoy.



5. Tchaikovsky: November from The Seasons Op 37a

Sheet music

This is the eleventh of twelve short character pieces called The Seasons by Russian composer Tchaikovsky. November is considered the most challenging out of the lot because it has such a rapidly moving melodic flow. It also expresses quite a complicating technique, so pay extra attention with this one.



6. Brahms: Intermezzo Op 118 No 2

Sheet music

This piece is the second of six pieces that comprise the opus 118 set. This set includes some of the most beloved Brahms ever wrote, and were written during a late compositional flourish in the 1890s. Indeed, it turned out to be his penultimate work written for solo piano.



7. Debussy: Serenade for the Doll, No 3 from Children’s Corner

Sheet music

The essence of Debussy is recognised within seconds of the start of this piece. The beautiful right-handed melody splashes colour directly over the top of the delicately placed left-hand. Debussy dedicated this piece to his daughter Claude-Emma, nicknamed “Chou Chou”.

On the topic of children... our friends over at JoyTunes have some great piano advice for kids. 



8. Mendelssohn: Song without Words in F sharp minor Op 67 No 2

Sheet music

‘[Words] seem so ambiguous, so vague, so subject to misunderstanding when compared with true music, which fills the soul with a thousand better things than words,’ said Mendelssohn of his many songs without words. This piece is the sixth of eight volumes of Songs without Words.



9. Rachmaninov: Prelude Op 3 No 2

Sheet music

At the age of 19, Rachmaninov wrote this prelude as a graduation work from the Moscow Conservatoire in 1892. He dedicated it to his teacher, Anton Arensky.



10. Zichy: Idyll

Sheet music

The extraordinary life of this one-armed Hungarian aristocratic virtuoso was retold by Warwick Thompson in Pianist 104, our ‘left hand’ issue.

Perhaps Zichy conceived it originally for LH alone – the opening has the characteristic texture of such pieces – and then arranged it for both hands, in which form it first appeared in 1910 within a collection of contemporary Hungarian piano music.


Are you a beginner? Here are 10 piano pieces perfect for beginners.